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' T 

Through the Russian Revolution 

Kercnsky on the Champ de Mars. 


Through the Russian 

Revolution : Notes of an 
Eye -Witness, from 12th March 
30th May. By Claude A net 





Kerensky on the Champ de Mars . . . Frontispiece 

Free citizens ....... Facing p. 16 

" Soldiers' liberty "rushing the trains to the ex- 
clusion of civilians . . . . . 16 

Peasants in distinctive national costumes . 17 

Solemn procession for the interment of the victims 

of the Revolution ......,,,, 32 

A Russian crowd keeps its own order . . . ,, 33 

Until night fell the people of Petrograd continued 

to pass by . . . . . . 33 

'' Hundreds dragged themselves along the Nevsky. 
The most to be pitied the blind were guided 
by Sisters of Charity " . . . . . 48 

Many lingered in the snow-covered square . . ,, ,,49 

Each group was commanded by a chief, who 

carried a white flag . . . . . ,, 49 

Champ de Mars, where the victims of the Revolu- 
tion were buried ......,,,, 64 

All classes of the people were represented 64 

Group after group followed in this procession, 

which continued all day and into the evening . ,, 64 

Soldiers honour the victims of the Revolution . ,, ,, 65 

Workmen and workwomen marched in good order 
to the graves of their dead . . . . ,, ,,65 

Ksessinschkaia Mansion, from which Lenin, the Ger- 
man propagandist, delivered his speech as a 
Social Democrat . . . . . . ,, 112 

Botkine with two delegates from the Black Sea 

Fleet 113 

Polostzoff 113 

Kerensky and Albert Thomas take part in the first 
Fete of the Revolution . 144 


Bands played before the Winter Palace for the 

Great Fete Facing page 145 

Kerensky addressing the crowd at the F&te cele- 
brating Liberty ...... 160 

A First of May group of spectators . . . .. ,,160 

The costumes of the East and the West blended in 
the First of May procession. The woollen head- 
shawl worn by women is typically Russian . 161 

Joy ride in a decorated wagon . . . . ,, 161 

The scene on the Champ de Mars before the Winter 

Palace on the First of May . J .' . . ,, 184 

The ancient fortress of Ramenetz-Podolsk, for- 
merly Turkish. Albert Thomas, accompanied 
by General Walsh and Colonel Langlois . . ,,185 

Kerensky and General Brussiloff at the General 

Headquarters on the South-East Front . 208 

General Brussiloff . , 209 

Albert Thomas addressing the troops in the Valley 
of the Black Teheremosche. His interpreter 
stands beside him. General Korniloff is on the 
extreme right ...... 224 

" General Korniloff spoke to his soldiers as a chief, 

as a father " , 225 

" Albert Thomas, with the conviction he brings to 
bear on everything, replied to the soldiers point 

by point " , 240 

Kerensky receives a deputation . . . . ,, 240 

Students 241 

Cheers for Albert Thomas 241 


THIS is a book about the first months of the Revolution 
in Russia. A book ? Nay, a collection of pages scribbled 
each evening, arnid the fever of those marvellous days 
through which we have lived, and sent red hot to Paris 
to be printed. Of this great drama, possessing a human 
interest which nothing can surpass, I have been a witness 
from day to day at Petrograd. One will find here many 
things that I have seen and few actual reflections. Never- 
theless, I have been unable to forbid myself these last. 
When I saw such measures taken by the Council of Work- 
men's and Soldiers' Delegates, how could I fail to predict 
the effect which they would produce on the country and 
on the Army ? It was not necessary to be a clairvoyant 
to discount the results of the famous Prikase to the 
soldiers. " He who sows the wind reaps the whirlwind." 
At the hour when I write this preface, the disbanding of 
the Army, the loss of Galicia and the Bukovina, the 
menace to Roumania, prove, alas ! that what I wrote 
three or four months ago was well founded. 

Have I been an impartial witness of the Russian 
Revolution ? 

No, we are all partisans in the pathetic drama which 
is being enacted in Russia. It is for the sake of Russia 
that we entered the war which is rending Europe in pieces. 


Could I be an impartial witness of a tragic event which 
modifies, to our disadvantage, the balance of the forces 
engaged in a conflict in which we are struggling for the 
most sacred rights of humanity ? 

Let my Russian revolutionary friends pardon the severity 
of some of these pages, written amidst the revolutionary 
turmoil. Whilst carried away by their ardour to destroy 
a detested regime, they think only of the Revolution. 
I think also of the War. 

10 August, 1917. 

Through the Russian Revolution 

Petrograd, Thursday, 23 February-7 March. 

FOR several days past, in consequence of the trans- 
port crisis, which was acute, coal had not arrived 
in sufficient quantity. Some factories working for 
national defence had been obliged to reduce their output 
or close down, and some thousands of workmen were 
thrown out of work. 

There was also a shortage of flour. In the early morn- 
ing, in the freezing dawn, my cook waited for four hours 
to secure two small rolls. These last days, there had been 
queues of interminable length at the doors of the bake- 
houses. Cries and protestations were heard to rise from 
the crowd, whose patience was, nevertheless, admirable ; 
women trembled from cold, and children fainted. The 
thermometer was still at 15, after two months of a most 
severe winter, in which the mercury had varied between 
15 and 40. 

To-day, there was a tumultuous sitting in the Duma, 
where, for several days, questions of revictualling had 
been under discussion. Chingaref called upon the 
Ministers, if they could not fulfil their duty, to resign. 
Skobelef, a Revolutionary Socialist, dared to say that 
in France the people in their anger had swept away even 
the throne of the kings. Kerensky, a member of the same 
party, spoke forcibly of the incapacity of the Government, 
which was unable to revictual Petrograd, and demanded 
that immediate measures should be taken. 


It was always the same when the members of the 
Duma interrogated Ministers. The Government showed 
the contempt which it entertained for the Assembly, 
and the little importance which it attached to the ques- 
tions addressed to it, by abstaining from attendance at 
the sitting. 

In the afternoon, during which the weather was magni- 
ficent, disturbances began in the town. I went on to the 
Nevsky Prospect. It was crowded ; many of those 
present were workmen, many persons drawn thither by 
curiosity. Some platoons of Cossacks made their appear- 
ance, lance in hand, fur cap cocked over the ear, a strand 
of hair falling on the temple. In the right hand they 
carried the nagaika, and their little horses caracoled over 
the hard snow. The crowd watched them and moved 
about good-humouredly. The trams passed less fre- 
quently than usual, and I learned that in Souvorovski 
Prospect the people were stopping them and breaking 
the windows of those that continued to run. It was 
reported that in the workmen's quarters there was some 

The workmen whose services were temporarily dis- 
pensed with were paid ; but the cause of the agitation 
amongst them lay in the difficulty which they experienced 
in obtaining food. The workman was compelled to stand 
for four hours in a queue in order to secure a pound of 
bread ; and frequently, before his turn arrived, the 
bakehouse was closed, and a notice put up : " No bread." 

Friday, 24 February-8 March. 

DURING the night, the Government caused Petrograd 
to be placarded with a proclamation stating that the stock 
of flour was normal, that the arrivals were considerable, 
and that everyone would be able to obtain necessaries. 



The strike movement was growing. In Nevsky there 
was an immense crowd ; but, between two and three 
o'clock, I did not see any organized manifestations. 
Platoons of Cossacks kept the people on the move. For 
a moment, they even rode on to the pavements, but such 
was the skill with which they managed their little horses, 
that they did not touch anyone. These Cossacks are 
overgrown children, blonde and smiling. The police 
were indifferent and inactive. 

For an instant, nothing serious occurred ; but we were 
conscious that the uneasiness was increasing, and the 
dworniks kept their doors half-closed. I drove to the 
Tauris Palace, where the Duma was sitting. The 
lobbies were seething with excitement. Maklakof and 
Chingaref told me that a week or two must elapse before 
coal and ore could arrive in sufficient quantities to permit 
work to be resumed. But what would happen in the 
meantime ? 

Towards four o'clock, matters on the Nevsky began to 
assume a more serious aspect. Processions of workmen 
made their appearance with the red flag at their head. 
The police must have received orders not to interfere with 
them, for nowhere did I see them dispersed. At five 
o'clock, cordons were established ; the mounted gendarmes 
occupied the police bridge over the Moika Canal, and there 
was another cordon in front of the Kazan Cathedral. 
And, all the time, the light-hearted Cossacks caracoled 
over the snow. Movement in " the town of infinite 
distances " became very difficult. The trams were no 
longer running, and the izwostchiks returned to the 
stables. During the day I traversed fifteen versts on 

The newspapers, by order, did not say a word about the 
disturbances, but the evening editions announced that, 
on the proposal of Rodzianko, President of the Duma? 



the Government would immediately appoint a com- 
mission to examine the question of the revictualling 
of Petrograd. 


Saturday, 25 February-9 March. 

THE newspapers continued to observe the most abso- 
lute silence about the disorders of yesterday. The 
Government was more fit to maintain order in the 
Press than in the street. Petrograd was asking itself 
only one question : " Is it a riot ? Is it a revolution ? " 
And the newspapers, organs of public opinion, appeared 
without a word which might relieve the universal suspense. 

It was a beautiful winter's day, wonderfully clear, but 
bitterly cold. Few people were in the streets, but on the 
Nevsky a motley crowd of sightseers, workmen and women 
had assembled. At three o'clock there were no cordons, 
and I was able to go wherever I pleased. On the Nicholas 
Square, in front of the railway-station, at the Kazan 
Cathedral, and on the Winter Palace Square, I saw 
soldiers in great force. Detachments of troops passed 
by, armed. At the head of one section I counted three 
officers ; they wore an anxious air, and it was easy 
to see that they were not on parade. The police and the 
Cossacks continued to display great patience towards the 
demonstrators. Processions of workmen marched along, 
with the red flag at their head, under the indifferent eye 
of the authorities, crying : " Down with the Govern- 
ment ! " and others might they not have been provo- 
cateurs ? " Down with the War ! " But any minute 
the situation might change and become serious. 

A woman standing in front of me shouted to the 
Cossacks : 



" Are you going to kill me, because I have no bread ? " 

I went to the Central Telegraph Office to send news 
to the Petit Parisien. But what news would be allowed 
to go through ? 

When, at five o'clock, I returned to the Nevsky, the 
first mutterings of the coming storm were audible. 
Everywhere cordons were to be seen ; cavalry and police 
occupied the roadway. Half of the cavalry had dis- 
mounted. I was unable to cross in front of the Kazan ; 
and I passed along the Catherine Canal and the Italians- 
kaya. And when I arrived on the Michael Square, at 
the corner of the Hotel de 1'Europe, I heard the sharp 
report of rifles, some hundreds of paces distant on Nevsky. 
Then, immediately afterwards, debouching from the 
Mikhailovskaya, came a stream of people and sleighs, 
flying from the Prospect. The drivers lashed their 
horses vigorously. In the midst of the rout was one of 
the Court carriages driven by a coachman wearing a two- 
cornered hat ; a sleigh upset at the corner of the street. 
The crowd of fugitives hustled me. All the doors, 
carriage-entrances and others, were at once, and as 
though by a miracle, shut. With difficulty I made my 
way against the current and passed along the Mikhailovs- 
kaya. It was empty. A squadron of cavalry occupied 
the end of it. 

In an adjoining house, in which I took refuge for a 
moment, I learned what had happened. On a level with 
the Anitchkoff Palace, where resides, on Nevsky, the 
Empress-Mother, there was a cordon of cavalry. Five 
hundred demonstrators arrived, headed by a red flag 
bearing the inscription : " Down with the War ! " The 
officer commanding the platoon was assisted by a com- 
missary of police, who three times summoned them to 
disperse. The workmen refused to do so, and the officer 
the order to fire. Some thirty soldiers fired, many of 



them discharging their rifles in the air ; but a few balls 
whistled by and ricochetted on the frozen snow. At 
the order " Fire ! " the workmen threw themselves on 
the ground, then, rising to their feet, made off ; while 
the crowd fled, panic-stricken. A few were wounded. A 
student was hit in the arm. A young woman, who accom- 
panied him, supported him. By a wonderful chance, 
an izwostchik was there, indifferent in the midst of this 
tragic scene. The young woman placed the student, 
deadly pale and with blood trickling down his pelisse, in 
the sleigh, and then, instead of going towards the bottom 
of the Nevsky, which was for the moment empty, directed 
the driver towards the hedge of soldiers, which half- 
opened to let him pass. Passing through their midst, 
and pointing to the wounded student by her side, she 
cried to them : 

" What, brothers, you will fire on your own friends ? " 

At the street corners the students mingled with the 
groups and carried on an active propaganda, saying to the 
workmen : 

" Remain with us, comrades. There is no necessity 
for disorder during the War. If we fight amongst our- 
selves, Germany will be our master. Let us wait until it is 
over, and together settle accounts with our Government." 

In the evening, there was sharp firing on the Souvorovski 
Prospect and on the square in front of the Nicholas 
Railway Station. The crowd was in a dangerous mood, 
and orators mounted the hideous equestrian statue of 
Alexander III. and harangued the people. I went so 
far as Nevsky, at the corner of Litheini. Here there were 
few people ; the roadway was empty, save for some 
patrols of mounted gendarmes moving about. In the 
middle of the street a horse, killed during the day, lay on 
the snow. The police made me retrace my steps. I 
returned on foot, still on foot. ... 




Sunday, 26 February-lQ March. 

IT was a beautiful day of bright sunlight, which caused 
the temperature, which during the night had fallen 
to 15, to rise a little. Along Litheini came a crowd 
making its way towards Nevsky, to which the police 
and the troops did the best they could to prevent 
access. At three o'clock, firing began. Panic seized 
the crowd, but to-day the number of the revolutionaries 
was considerable and they offered resistance. On 
Souvorovski a siege-war was organized. The police 
themselves built a barricade to prevent the rioters 
passing. Everywhere, in the crowd, people declared 
that it was the police alone who were firing at them, 
and that the soldiers were discharging their rifles in the 
air. It was also asserted that the Government had 
dressed some police-agents as soldiers. A young girl 
related that, on Nevsky, an officer of Cossacks had 
ordered his men to charge the demonstrators. But at 
the command : " Forward ! " he rode on alone, no one 
following him. I had, by chance, confirmation of this 
fact from three workmen who were in conversation 
behind me. 

Said one of them to his companions : 

" You have seen what has just happened ? The 
officer of Cossacks gave the order : ' Forward ! ' but 
the soldiers did not follow him. The Government 
must now reckon with us, since even the Cossacks are 
on our side." 

It was the most sensible remark that I garnered during 
the day. Fighting proceeded all the afternoon, The 



motor-ambulances passed by unceasingly. In a single 
hospital three hundred wounded were taken in. 

What was the Government doing ? Where was it 
hiding itself ? 

In the evening, tranquillity was entirely restored. 
The troops of police, the gendarmes, the Army, remained 
masters of the field of battle. Between ten and eleven 
o'clock at night I took a walk near Nevsky. The town 
was deserted, lugubrious, hardly lighted at all. Few 
people passed me, and they kept close to the wall ; not 
an izwostchik was to be seen. I was unable to cross the 
Prospect at any part. Cordons of troops prevented 
people passing. I did not hear a single shot. The 
revolutionaries had not gained the day, and had returned 
to their homes. 

I regained my apartment by way of the Mokhovaya. 
Before the Hotel of the Presidency of the Council stood 
seven or eight motor-cars. They were there when I 
passed an hour and a half earlier ; they were there still. 
What kind of men were they who had the fate of Russia 
in their hands ? Weak, incapable creatures ! And the 
Emperor was at Mohilev, a twenty-hours' train journey 
from here ! What did he know of the events which 
were happening in his capital, at a time when every 
minute was of vital importance ? 


Monday, 27 February-12 March. 

YESTERDAY evening, the newspapers were not pub- 
lished. Nor did they make their appearance this 
morning. The absence of news added to the tragedy 
of the situation. My cook returned from market with 
empty hands. The bakeries were closed ; there was 
no bread to be had. 


"Soldiers' liberty" rushing the trains to the exclusion of civilians. 

[To face p. 16, 

Peasants in distinctive national costumes. 

[To face p. 17. 


1 telephoned to a Russian colleague. He sent me the 
following alarming information : 

Opposite to where he lived, in the barracks of the 
Volhynia Regiment, the soldiers had mutinied, fired on 
their officers, and marched out in disorder into the street, 
with their arms. He had not seen them fire on their 
officers, but in the barrack-square shots had been heard. 

Near the Isaac Cathedral some troops were drilling. 
On Nevsky all was quiet. (Another telephonic com- 

At eleven o'clock, I left my apartment. I was living 
at the corner of Furchtadskaya and Litheini, hard by 
the Arsenal, where were the Artillery Headquarters 
and a military factory. In the vestibule of the house, 
the porter and some of the tenants stopped me. The 
glass door was shut. There was firing in Litheini, along 
which a great number of soldiers were passing. I went 
out. What a spectacle greeted me ! 

The whole of the Regiment Preobrajensky, the first 
regiment of the Guard, was marching past in disorder, 
without its officers. The soldiers were firing in the air. 
It was an incessant fusillade. The crowd cheered them, 
waving their handkerchiefs. Some of the soldiers placed 
their caps on the points of their bayonets. 

My first impression was a distressing one. I thought 
of the German, of him who occupied the plains of Cham- 
pagne and Artois, as well as the frozen banks of the 
Dwina. A revolution at this hour ! Perhaps a civil 
war ! At best, long months of anarchy, at a time when 
this country had need of all its forces to contend against 
the foreign foe. It was he who was triumphing to-day. 
Every shot fired in the streets of Petrograd was more 
harmful to Russia than a thousand bullets fired by the 
Germans on the front. 

Such were the feelings which rose within me, and 

17 2 


seemed to stifle me at the sight of the disbanded Preo- 
brajensky. The soldiers marched towards the adjoining 
Arsenal and laid siege to it. I was assured that the 
mutineers had shot the General commanding. The 
officers made prisoners in this disturbance disappeared 
as the opportunity presented itself. Those who were 
arrested, if they did not offer resistance, were deprived 
of their sabres and revolvers, and their epaulettes were 
torn off. A colonel belonging to the General Staff, 
looking very dejected, took refuge in my house. Then 
he went out again with me. A little praporstchik (cadet 
officer) arrived, deadly pale, from Litheini. " Don't go 
that way," said he. 

He disappeared. The colonel made off by Furchtads- 
kaya, along the walls, with bowed head. A military 
motor-car passed, containing two officers. The soldiers, 
crossing their bayonets, stopped it and made the officers 
alight. They were Roumanian officers, and the soldiers, 
after questioning them, allowed them to proceed. 

Another motor-car arrived, full of rioters, with a 
soldier wearing a red cloak seated on the hood, and 
stopped before my door, where a powerful car was 

" That's a good car you have there ! " they shouted 
to the chauffeur. " Get down from your seat." And 
they seized upon the car and went on. 

A sharp fusillade was still proceeding. Many soldiers 
were firing in the air, like madmen. But, a hundred 
paces away, they were fighting for possession of the 

It was an astonishing sight. Urged on by the senti- 
ment of professional duty, I decided to secure some 
photographs of these revolutionary scenes, and I went 
up to my room to fetch my camera. Concealed behind 
a motor-car, I took, with due precaution, three photo- 



graphs of the regiment, which was still passing by, and 
then, having hidden my camera in my pocket, I turned 
towards my door. 

But I had been observed. Three soldiers rushed 
upon me and pinned me to the wall, holding their three 
bayonets against my chest. The firing about us 
continued without interruption. 

" Hold up your hands." 

I did not put up my hands, and asked what they 
wanted ? 

" You have taken photographs of us ! " 

A crowd collected. A young girl, a student, with eye- 
glasses on her nose, and in a very excited condition, 
began to denounce me fiercely. 

" Here is my camera," said I, holding it out. 

" But you have something else in your pockets." 

" Nothing." 

'' You are a liar." 

And the bayonets were still pointed at my chest, and 
the girl-student continued to denounce me. 

" I am a Frenchman and a journalist. Would you 
like to see my papers ? " 

They tried to open the camera. I took it back and 
opened it myself. 

" Take the films," I said to them, " and leave me the 
camera. I am your ally." 

" He is right ! He is right ! " cried voices in the crowd, 
where the men were on my side. 

But the girl-student, pale with anger, continued to 
incite the soldiers against me. 

It was about time for this ridiculous scene to ter 
minate, and a tall rascal, who had thrown a military 
cloak over his civilian clothes, put an end to it by 
springing forward, snatching the camera from me and 
making off with it. My three soldiers then raised their 

19 2* 

rifles and the crowd dispersed. But I had thus lost a 
Goerz lens, which I could not replace easily. The 
irony of things ! I had been twice in danger during 
the War. At the beginning of it, when in uniform, the 
only bullet which whistled past my ears was a French 
one, fired by inadvertence. To-day, three Russian 
bayonets had been pointed at my chest. 

Soldiers kept marching past until half-an-hour after 
midday. I saw them giving rifles to the workmen, 
and some rioters went by with officers' belts and sabres. 
A Cossack galloped along, brandishing a revolver. The 
firing continued unceasingly. 

The soldiers established two posts at the corner of 
the street ; but great disorder prevailed. The people 
fled ; the soldiers allowed no one to pass. The police 
had disappeared ; and officers were not to be seen. 
I went up again to my apartment and shut myself in. 
Telephonic communication had been cut off for half 
an hour, but in about an hour I succeeded in getting 
connected with a French officer of my acquaintance. 
I gave him the news and learned that, while crossing 
the Palace Square in a motor-car, he had been stopped 
by mutinous soldiers. He had alighted and talked with 
the soldiers, who finally said to him : 

" You may proceed, but you will have to go on foot. 
We require your car." 

A soldier said to my secretary : 

" We were waiting for this day. It is only to-day 
that we had the rifles and cartridges we wanted ; it is 
only to-day that we were able to go over to the people." 

From 2 p.m. onwards, the situation in my quarter 
was as follows : The soldiers who had mutinied were 
masters of the Arsenal ; and they had opened the doors 
of the great political prison of the Schpalernaia, hard 
by where I lived, and liberated all the prisoners. The 


fifteen workmen of the Central Committee arrested by 
Protopopof, a month ago, were free. According to 
what I was told by my servants, who had endeavoured 
to go and buy provisions, the next street to the south, 
the Kirochnaia, was occupied by the Simeonovsky Regi- 
ment, that old and most trustworthy corps which had 
suppressed the Revolution of 1905. On Litheini, some 
machine-guns had been placed ; the officers were with 
their men, and everyone was firing. The Army and 
Navy Club was occupied by the police. A hundred 
yards further on, at the corner of my street, were 
soldiers and armed workmen. I went downstairs, and, 
looking through the glass door, which was shut, I saw 
motor-cars arriving full of rioters. They had without 
doubt looted a spirit store, for they were offering spirits 
to the soldiers. A soldier passed on horseback, revolver 
in hand, and fired without any reason. There was 
much firing, besides, but in the air. 

I was told, by telephone, that, on the other side of 
the Preobrajensky Barracks, on the Souvorovski 
Prospect, violent fighting was in progress and that the 
firing was incessant. 


BY telephone also, an eye-witness informed me that 
at the corner of the Rue de I'Hopital the soldiers 
had looted the depdts for cartridges and shells. At 
four o'clock, I learned that three regiments had joined 
the insurrection, namely the Preobrajensky, which I 
myself had seen, the Moscow Regiment and the Paula. 
The Moscow Regiment had marched out of its barracks, 
accompanied by motor-lorries filled with rifles, which 
the soldiers distributed to the workmen. 


At five o'clock, they telephoned me that great news 
was going the round of the town. It was to the effect 
that that same evening a provisional government would 
be nominated, with General Alexeief as its chief. 

If this news were true, tranquillity would at once be 
re-established, since the personality of the Commander-in- 
Chief was universally respected. If not, it was impossible 
to foresee how far things might not go. I telephoned to 
the Duma and received from one of the head ushers the 
following information : 

The Duma was invaded by a crowd of civilian rioters 
and soldiers. They were conducting themselves there in 
an orderly manner and were awaiting the result of the 
deliberations of the Duma. There also it was said that 
Alexeief was going to assume the leadership of a new 
Government, and it was considered that, if the report were 
true, the situation was saved. 

I was informed that the Government had already pro- 
rogued the Duma and adjourned it until after the Easter 
recess. This showed the political sense of the Govern- 
ment, the intuition which it possessed of the spirit 
which animates mobs, and the profound reasons which 
had brought about what one could no longer call disturb- 
ances, but a revolution. 

Hard by my house, the opposing forces were organized. 
The street to the south, the Kirochnaia, was occupied 
by the Simeonovsky Regiment, which did not show itself 
on Litheini. The street to the north, the Serguiewskaia, 
was in the hands of the rioters, who were in possession of 
the Arsenal, which forms the block between the Litheini, 
Serguiewskaia, and Schpalernaia. They had erected 
a barricade of wood and boxes, which barred the way to 
Litheini, and on which the red flag floated. They had 
a number of motor-cars, provisions were brought to 
them, and wood to form a great fire, which was blazing 



brightly. For there were ten degrees of frost. They 
had burned the Palace of Justice, close by my house, the 
windows of which were vomiting flames. The firing con- 
tinued, but it was dying away. Puddles of blood at 
the corner of the street reddened the snow. 

Twelve police stations were on fire. The people, in 
destroying the offices of the all-powerful police, whence 
so many annoyances had come upon them, were exacting 
a just retribution. 

At seven o'clock, a student escaped from the Duma 
telephoned that he had the list of the Committee of Public 
Order, nominated by the Duma. At its head were : 
Rodzianko, Lvof, Miliukoff, Tchkeidze, Kerensky, 
Chidlovski, Chingaref, etc. Was it a Provisional 
Government ? 

The student informed me that Sheglovitof, President 
of the Council of the Empire, had been brought to the 
Duma, with bound hands, and that they had sent to 
arrest Protopopoff. 

The Committee and the Duma requested the workmen 
to appoint their representatives at the evening sitting, 
as well as a delegate from each regiment which had gone 
over to the people. 

It was confirmed that the Duma had been dissolved 
the previous day by a last act of folly on the part of the 

Protopopoff was sought for everywhere ; but he had 
taken to flight. The revolutionaries sacked his apart- 
ment, where they found a great deal of champagne. They 
drank it at my door in Litheini. 


AT two o'clock in the morning they brought me the 
newspaper edited by the Revolutionists, called the 



News. It was a big sheet, printed on one side only. 
At the top it said : 

" The newspapers do not appear ; events move too 
quickly, and the people ought to know what is happening." 

Then followed the communique of the General Staff ; 
the English bulletin announcing the capture of Bagdad, 
and then the Imperial decree proroguing the Duma until 
after the Easter recess, dated 25 February, at the Stafka. 
Below this I read : 

" Decision of tJie Duma. The Council of the Ancients, 
having been immediately assembled, and acquainted with 
the decree oj prorogation, declares : 

" The Imperial Duma will not be dissolved. All the 
deputies will remain in their places." 

Next, the revolt of the troops, reported above ; the 
arrival of a delegation of revolutionary troops at the 
Duma, where Rodzianko communicated to them the 
decision taken by the Council of the Ancients, and the 
text of the telegrams sent to the Emperor and to the three 
commanders of groups of armies at the front. These 
telegrams said : 

" Serious situation in the capital, where anarchy reigns. 
General discontent increasing. In the streets, uninterrupted 
firing, and one part oj the troops is firing on the other. It 
is necessary to nominate without delay a person possessing 
the confidence oj the people and who would form a new 
Government. To wait is impossible. I pray God that at 
this hour the responsibility may not fall upon the Crown." 

Under the title : " The 1st Revolutionary Army at the 
Imperial^Duma," this note followed : 



" The detachments of the regiments which have gone over 
to the people have arrived at the Duma and have been 
received by Tchkeidze, Kerensky, Skobelef, etc. (Socialists.)' 1 

Then, the meeting of the Duma. 

It had not met in the Hall of Session, but in the Salle 
Catherine, or Salle des Pas-Perdus. The crowd there was 
enormous and mixed, amongst it being many of the 
soldiers who had revolted. Rodzianko decided to 
assemble the Council of the Ancients in a cabinet. And 
the Council nominated a " committee to establish order 
in Petrograd and to enter into relations with the con- 
stituted bodies and persons." The members were : 
1, Rodzianko; 2, Nekrassof; 3, Konovalof; 4, Dmitri- 
ukof ; 5, Kerensky ; 6, Tchkeidze ; 7, Shulgin ; 8, 
Chidlovski ; 9, Miliukoff ; 10, Karakoulof ; 11, Lvof; 
12, Rjewski. 

The destruction of the " Okhrana " was announced, and 
the burning of political papers. 

Then came an appeal from the workmen delegates, 
which was as follows : 

" Citizens! The representatives oj the workmen, soldiers 
and population in session at the Duma declare that the 
first session oj their representatives will be held to-day at 
seven o'clock in the evening, at the Imperial Duma. Let 
all the soldiers who have passed over to the side oj ilie people 
choose their representatives without delay : one Jor each 
company ; let the jactories choose their delegates : one jor 
each thousand. The Jactories which have less than a thou- 
sand workmen send one delegate. 

" Temporary Executive Committee of 

the Council of Workmen's Delegates." 

And then this : 



" Citizens ! 

" The soldiers who have passed over to the side of the 
people have been in the street since morning and are hungry. 
The Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates and the 
population are making every effort to feed the soldiers. 
But it is difficult to organize the revictualling immediately. 
The Council appeals to you, citizens, and begs you to feed 
the soldiers to the best of every one's ability. 

" Temporary Executive Committee of 

the Council of Workmen's Delegates." 

The Revolution was gaining ground, and all Petro- 
grad was in its hands. The fortress Peter and 
Paul was for the revolutionaries. The Cossacks had 
gone over to the people and had fought with a Lithuanian 
regiment which had remained faithful to the Government. 
The regiments who had espoused the cause of the Revolu- 
tion had with them many of their officers. They had 
guns, munitions, motor-cars and search-lights, and 
orders arrived regularly at the military posts which were 
placed everywhere on the public roads. The women 
students of the University were organizing Red Cross 
services on the sleighs of peasants. 

Of the Government, there was no news. This nothing- 
ness of a Government was dust and had returned to the 

If the Grand Duke Dimitri were at Petrograd, he would 
be to-morrow Emperor of Russia, for the thousands of 
shots fired these days at Petrograd responded, at an inter- 
val of two months, to the five revolver-shots which had 
struck down Rasputin before the mysterious little door 
of the Youssoupoff Palace. 

Everywhere extraordinary joy prevailed ; people 
embraced one another ; the soldiers were gay and 
triumphant. At the Duma, there was much enthusiasm 



the committee were sitting in groups of commissions. 
The entire town had been won over to the Revolution. 

Golitzine to crown everything had sent in his resig- 
nation. To whom ? To Rodzianko. 

A joyous and intelligent soldier said to me : 

" You see all that we have accomplished in a single 
day. We have the telegraph. Moscow is with us." 

The most significant news was that Brussiioff and 
Russki had sent to the Czar the telegram demanded by 

Russki replied : 

" / have done what you asked oj me" 
Brussilof said : 

" / have received your telegram. I have fulfilled my duty 
towards the country and towards the Emperor." 

The actions of the highest chiefs of the Army responded 
to the cries of the soldiers heard this morning in Litheini. 


Tuesday, 28 February-13 March. 

THIS morning, Nastia found some bread at the 
bakery. It was a miracle, of which the Revolution 
would reap the benefit. Nevertheless, as the brave 
Pokrovski, ex-Minister for Foreign Affairs, who still 
occupied his cabinet at the French Embassy, observed 
a few minutes later : 

" It is we to whom you owe this bread." 

Towards half-past eleven, I went to the Duma. The 
scene in the street was an animated one. Groups of 



soldiers, armed workmen, passers-by, women of the 
people. Motor-cars were arriving full of soldiers, whose 
rifles protruded in a threatening manner from the doors. 
Where there was room for four persons, a dozen had 
squeezed themselves in. On the mud-guard, on either 
side, a soldier was leaning, his rifle, with bayonet fixed, 
held before him. He appeared thus, a wholly modern 
personification of Victory. On Litheini, the Palace of 
Justice continued to burn. The flames spouted from 
the windows. 

" It is the judicial archives which are burning ! " 
cried a soldier. 

" Hurrah ! " answered the crowd. 

In Furchtadskaya, the commissariat was also burning. 
The people were throwing the police papers out of the 
window, and of these they had made a great fire in the 
middle of the street. Thus was disappearing, in ashes 
which the wind carried away, the description so patiently 
prepared by the police of the life of each inhabitant of 
the quarter. 

The nearer I approached the Tauris Palace, the denser 
became the crowd. Every moment little groups passed 
by, in which walked a pale civilian, surrounded by 
soldiers with fixed bayonets, and followed by other 
soldiers, with drawn sabres or cutlasses. The prisoners 
were agents or commissaries of police, who had been dis- 
covered, and whom they were conducting to the Tauris 

In the street, before the palace, were motor-lorries 
loaded with as many as thirty excited soldiers, motor- 
cars, batteries of guns, on which children were dis- 
porting themselves, patrols of cavalry. Some students 
were there on horseback ; the people called them the 
" black hussars." Here was a squad of junkers, cadet 
officers, belonging to the Michael School, who marched 



past in perfect order in their long cloaks. The crowd 
cheered them ; but a soldier cried out : 

" Oh ! those fellows there, they have not come of 
their own accord. They had to have a special invitation 
sent them." 

Near the entrance of the court, the crowd was so 
dense that I could scarcely pass. But it was good- 
natured, and when I said that I must enter the 
Duma, it made way for me. At the gate were soldiers 
with fixed bayonets. I informed them of my position 
as correspondent of the Duma and was allowed to pass. 

The court was full of lorries and soldiers. At the 
door itself, entry for a moment seemed quite hopeless, 
so great was the crush. A student, surrounded by armed 
soldiers, closed the door. But I took advantage of 
the arrival of a prisoner under escort to slip in in his 

Here was I at last in the magnificent Tauris Palace, 
the centre of the Russian Revolution. Everywhere 
were armed soldiers ; some civilians and women were 
in the Circular Hall, the floor of which was littered with 
empty boxes of preserves and cigarettes, the debris 
of the night passed there by two thousand men. 
In the superb Salle Catherine, an immense crowd of 
soldiers surrounded a platform, where Kerensky, pale 
and bent, was speaking. 

He recommended to the soldiers a strict discipline, 
an appeal which might appear ironical, addressed as it 
was to men who had revolted against their leaders, 
killed a certain number of them, and refused any longer 
even to salute those who had passed over with them to 
the insurrection. 

I came across Chingaref. His face looked drawn, and 
he was very tired. He told me that, for the present, I 
could not telegraph to my paper ; but I made him 



understand how necessary it was that, when the tele- 
graph was reopened, I should be at liberty to telegraph 
freely in a reassuring sense. I showed him what must 
be the feelings of our men when, after enduring the 
hardships and dangers of the trenches for three long 
years, they learned from bills posted up on the German 
parapets that the Russian Army had risen in revolt. 

" / must," I said to him, " be able to telegraph that it 
is to rid themselves for ever of the German party that the 
people and the Army have risen, and that the war against 
Germany will be resumed more ardently than ever. I must 
be able to say it, Sir, and it must be true." 

I left him and entered the Circular Hall, where an 
astonishing sight awaited me. The crowd was making 
a rush in one direction. " They are bringing Sturmer 1 '' 
was the cry. 

And there, in fact, was the former President of the 
Council, the creature of Rasputin. He was surrounded 
by soldiers, who were threatening him with their re- 
volvers. Other soldiers followed him, with swords 

The old man, his cap in his hand, was enveloped 
in a big fur-collared Nicholas cloak reaching to his 
feet. His face was as white as his long beard ; his 
pale blue eyes were expressionless ; he appeared to 
notice nothing, to have fallen into his second childhood, 
and advanced, seemingly unconscious of his surround- 
ings, with tottering steps. 

An order was heard : 

" Put down those revolvers." 

The revolvers were lowered, and the man who had 
been the Prime Minister of the Emperor and Autocrat 
of All the Russias was thrust into a room on the left 
of the hall. 

Some minutes later, a second sensation ! Another 



of Rasputin's creatures appeared, the Metropolitan 
Pitirim. He had been arrested at the Lavra of 
Alexander Nevsky, hiding behind a pillar. He wore 
a black gown, with the gold episcopal cross on his breast ; 
while on his head was a white mitre with a black cross. 
A prey to the most abject fear, with his mouth half- 
open and terrified eyes, he looked like a condemned 
criminal being led to the scaffold. Two soldiers were 
obliged to hold him under the arms, in order to support 

The crowd overwhelmed him with insults : 

" Here is Grischka Rasputin's friend ! " " Consoler 
of the Court. You want to see Nicholas ! " " Presently, 
they will bring Sacha " (diminutive of Alexandra, the 
Empress) " to see you, in your room ! " 

And the revolvers were still pointed, and the swords 

The group disappeared. I was stifling ; I could 
scarcely breathe, and hastened to get out into the fresh 
air. I left the palace and, by way of the Schpalernaia, 
with difficulty gained the Quai Franais and the French 
Embassy, where I breakfasted. 

The Ambassador returned from the Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs, where he had found in his cabinet the 
worthy and excellent M. Pokrovski, who was at 
that time Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was there 
quite alone, unable to communicate with anyone, with- 
out the use of the telegraph, without power. He had 
been arrested, and shut up for the night in the Marie 
Palace. Then, as he was esteemed by everyone, he 
was released and allowed to return to his cabinet. 

According to him, the Emperor, who would arrive 
at Tsarskoye-Selo, if he could, in the course of the after- 
noon, had been informed very exactly of all that had 
taken place. From what was known of his intentions 



and the thing was in no way surprising to anyone 
who was acquainted with him he was inclined to fight 
and indisposed to yield a single inch of his rights, which 
he pronounced divine. He had nominated the late 
general-in-chief on the southern front, Ivanof, to be 
President of the Council, with the powers of a dictator. 
Ivanof was expected to arrive at Tsarskoye immediately. 
The Empress had not left Tsarskoye, where her daughters 
were ill with measles. The Imperial Family was alone. 
The Grand Dukes, who detested it, had not come to 
range themselves around the throne. The Emperor 
had at Tsarskoye from six to eight thousand troops, upon 
whose loyalty he counted. 

Politically, the situation was as follows : 
There was no Government. The old one had 
vanished ; the new one had not been formed. The 
Duma hesitated to assume powers which did not belong 
to it so long as the Emperor remained on the throne. 
The Executive Committee lived from day to day, dealing 
with the most pressing affairs of Petrograd, without 
legal power, unable to give an order, having the re- 
sponsibility of administering without police the capital 
of an empire of one hundred and seventy-six million 
souls and of coming to terms with one hundred thousand 
mutinous soldiers, who were parading the streets under 
arms and invading the Tauris Palace. Yonder was 
an Emperor, stubborn, possessed of little intelligence, 
wrapped in mysticism, stiffened in his obstinacy by his 
inflexible belief in his divine right, incapable of listening 
to advice and the voice of Reason. If that day he 
were to nominate Prince Lvof President of the Council, 
with a responsible Ministry, in which every man would 
stand loyally by his colleagues, the dynasty might 
perhaps be saved and order re-established. But there 
was not the shadow of a chance that the Emperor would 


A Russian crowd keeps its own order. 

Until night fell the people of Petrograd continued to pass by. 

[To face p. 33. 


take this course. Then, what was to be expected ? 
A struggle for the throne ? Abdication ? Downfall ? 
Death ? And in Petrograd, in Russia, disorder ! Pro- 
tracted disorder ! And, meantime, the Germans were 
on the Beresina and in Champagne ! 

At the Duma, it was already felt that the moderate 
parties had been out-distanced and thrust on one 
side. The Rodziankos, the Lvofs, the Miliukoffs, the 
Shulgins, who were they beside the Tchkeidzes, the 
Skobelefs, the Kerenskys, the Bogdanofs, those leaders 
of the Socialist party, who but yesterday had been 
scarcely known, but who, to-day, have been thrust 
into prominence by the force of the popular tide ? The 
former leaders of the Duma, the Cadets, were all, with 
slight differences, upholders of order, who would accom- 
modate themselves to a liberal monarchy with a parlia- 
mentary regime. Rodzianko had once been an officer 
in the Army, and the spectacle of the soldiers forgetting 
all the rules of discipline must have been a very dis- 
tressing one to him. The following little incident 
will serve to illustrate the state of mind of the 
soldiers : 


RODZIANKO, who was in his cabinet, was informed 
that the soldiers had brought General Adrianof, whom 
they had made prisoner at the Hotel Astoria. He gave 
directions that the general should be admitted, and 
he entered between two armed soldiers. Rodzianko 
said to the soldiers : 

" Leave the room ; I am going to question the 

33 3 


The soldiers answered bluntly : 

" No, we shall not leave the room." And they 

Throughout the entire day, there was an incessant 
flow of deputations to the Tauris Palace ; detachments 
of troops who had passed over to the Revolution, special 
schools, and so forth. The most important arrivals 
were a crack corps, the Grenadiers of the Guards, with 
their commanders and officers. They gave Rodzianko, 
who came to meet them, the famous regulation salute : 
" May your High Excellency enjoy the best of health ! " 
which burst forth from their ranks like the crackling of 
a machine-gun. 

To every detachment Rodzianko spoke as an old 
officer might be expected to do, thanking the troops 
for coming to support the new order, and speaking of 
the necessity of observing discipline, without which 
the Army was merely an impotent mob. He never 
failed to say, and his words sounded strange at an hour 
when all minds were occupied by the Revolution : 

" Do not forget your brothers in the trenches" 

But, at that moment, who was there who thought 
of the brothers in the trenches ? 

Towards the middle of the afternoon, there was a great 
sensation ; the arrival from Tsarskoye of the Fourth Regi- 
ment of the Imperial Rifles, which went over to the side 
of the people. 


THE second number of the News contained the following 
appeals, published late at night (27 February-12 March 
28 February-13 March) : 

The first appeal called upon the Revolution " not to 
shed blood uselessly, not to loot, to respect public 



institutions, electric-stations, tramways, and so forth, the 
destruction of which would serve no useful purpose, and 
might be attended by fatal consequences." 
The second said : 

" In very difficult conditions the Temporary Committee 
has undertaken tlie heavy task of reorganizing the social 
and governmental order. Understanding the responsi- 
bility oj its decisions, the Committee is sure that the people 
and the Army will aid it in creating a new Government 
conformable to the wishes of the population. 

" 27 February, 1917. 

" The President oj tlie Imperial Duma, 


The Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates pub- 
lished the following lines : 

" The old authority has brought us to famine and ruin. 
The population, discontented, went forth into the streets, 
to be met by bullets. In place of bread, the Government gave 
the people lead. The soldiers refused to fire on the people, 
and rose against the Government ; together with the people 
they took up arms ; the Ministers, the Bank, tlie fortress, tfie 
Arsenal, are in their hands. The struggle continues ; let us 
carry it on up to tlie end. The old authority must be over- 
thrown and replaced by the government of the people. There 
lies the safety of Russia. To attain the end, and in the 
interests of the democracy, tlie people must organize power. 
The Council of Workmen's Delegates intends to organize the 
popular forces, in order to assure political liberty and the 
popular authority in Russia. District Commissioners have 
been nominated to organize the popular authority in the 
quarters of Petrograd. We invite the whole population of the 

35 3* 


capital to group themselves around tlie Council, to create 
local committees in the quarters, and to take into their 
hands the direction oj all local affairs. 

" With all our Jorces united, we shall strive for tlie final 
destruction of the old regime, and the summoning oj a Con- 
stituent Assembly, elected on the basis oj universal, equal, 
direct and secret suffrage. 

" Council of Workmen's Delegates."" 

On the proposal of the Executive Committee of the 
Imperial Duma, the district commandant, Engelhart, 
member of the Duma, was named commandant of the 
garrison of Petrograd. He took possession of his post at 

The following is the list of the political personages 
arrested on this day : 

Stiirmer, former President of the Council of Ministers. 

General KurloJ, former assistant of Protopopof. 

Reyn, ex-Minister of the Department of Public Health. 

Shivinski-Shahmatoj, member of the Imperial Council. 

KomissareJ, Kurlof's substitute. 

Borissoj, assistant of the Minister of Ways and Com- 

Bogachef, Chief Director of Railways. 

General Balk, Prefect of Petrograd. 

MakaveeJ, Chief of the Academy of Military Medicine. 

Zabeline, Chief Director of Military Schools. 

Vice-Admiral Karsof, Admiral Hirs, and many others. 

The Metropolitan Pitirim was not mentioned. 

The telephone station had been abandoned by the 
Government troops entrusted with its defence, and the 
telephone operators had fled. The mechanicians sent 
by the Committee organized the service. 

The Revolutionary troops occupied the Ministry of 
Ways and Communications. 



Maklakof, with his soldiers, occupied the Palace of 

The Academy of the Army Medical Service, in full force, 
arrived towards four o'clock. 

At two o'clock priest Popoff II., a member of the 
Duma, blessed the Revolutionary troops. 

The most contradictory reports were in circulation. 
The searches instituted in the Ministers' apartments had 
not been productive of results. 

That morning, two Siberian regiments arrived at the 
Nicholas Railway Station, and placed themselves at the 
disposal of the Duma. 

Communication between Moscow and Petrograd was 
carried on as usual. 

The Bankers' Council decided, in view of the fact that 
tranquillity was restored, to open the banks. 

The member of the Duma, Krijonovski, was entrusted 
with the task of organizing the Militia. The students 
were asked to enter their names. 

The Military Technical Committee published the follow- 
ing appeal : 

" Citizens : 

" It is very important that there should be order in the 
streets. Help to establish and maintain order. Obey the 

" At the head oj the patrols are their leaders, distin- 
guished by a white band on the lejt arm. 

" Every hour, a motor-car with a white flag passes to 
receive the report oj the patrol leaders. The results are 
communicated to the officer. The leaders are clianged every 
two hours. 

" The leaders must take care that : 

" 1 . The patrol remains in its place and under arms. 
" 2. There is no drunkenness. 



" 3. There is no firing without orders. 
" 4. There is no looting or arson. 

Appeal to the students : 

" Comrades, 

"An organization is required to maintain order ; enter 
your names. 

" Sign : white brassard on the left arm. 
" Obligations : 

" 1. To prevent disorderly firing. 

" 2. To take away arms from minors and intoxicated 


" 3. To prevent looting. 

" 4. To maintain the customary order in the streets, 
public places, etc. In case oj necessity to have 
recourse to Jorce, that is to say, to apply to the 

Towards dusk. I went out again. The town was far 
from being calm, and I heard continual shots. I walked 
along Fontanka, in that charming locality which runs 
from the Summer Garden up to the second bridge of 
Fontanka. There was firing from both banks of the 
ranal. It was continuous firing, and one could hear the 
bullets tapping against the walls. And then a surprising 
thing happened. For, from the further bank of the 
canal, came the crackling of a machine-gun ! I saw that 
I was alone on the quay ; but I continued my walk, until, 
at the corner of the Garden, I came upon three soldiers 
lying down in the snow. They were watching the roofs 
of the houses on the opposite bank, and called out to me : 

" You can't pass ! 

I retraced my steps, without understanding against what 
invisible enemies these soldiers, who were in possession 



of the town, were fighting, or who was operating this 
hidden machine-gun ; and was attempting to return by 
Mokhovaya when an officer stopped me. 

" Impossible to pass," said he. " They are firing from 
Number Twenty-seven." 

I regained Litheini. There also they were firing, but 
it was at random. 

" Provocation," said the people. 

In all the quarter, and so far as Souvorovski, the 
fusillade was more, lively than ever. We were assured 
that agents of the secret police were in possession of rifles 
and machine-guns, that they had ascended to the tops of 
the houses, and were firing into the crowd and upon the 
soldiers from the roofs, with the object of creating panic. 
It is certain that they caused nervous depression, and that 
it was dangerous to leave one's house in the evening. 

The soldiers methodically searched house after house 
from cellar to attic, my own among the number. 

Was it probable that agents of the old power, without 
orders, without leaders, would have the heroism to risk 
their lives for the sake of a fallen regime ? 

But that they were firing from the houses, and even with 
machine-guns, admitted of no doubt. I myself was a 
witness of it. 

I paid some visits. I found people buried at the 
bottom of their apartments, nervous, uneasy, troubled, 
starting at the least sound. They embraced me as if I 
had come through great dangers. 

We were at that moment tortured by the most painful 
uncertainty. Whither were we drifting ? What would 
happen on the morrow ? Should we witness the arrival 
of a regular army from the front, sent to seize the capital ? 
Would the snow of these streets be reddened with blood ? 
Was the dynasty about to founder in the tempest ? Was 
the Emperor, as some who knew him believed, preparing 



for death, preferable in his eyes to humiliating conces- 
sions ? Would a government nominated at Petrograd 
be accepted by Russia ? Would it be able to re-establish 
order ? Would it make those thousands of soldiers who 
had torn off the epaulettes of their officers return to their 
barracks ? What authority would they accept ? If 
provisions, as was probable, happened to fail, would they 
riot start looting ? And who was going to stop them in 
a town where all authority had been abolished, where the 
police no longer existed ? And we should have to remain 
at home, with arms folded. To wait ! than which there 
is nothing more trying. 

At the houses of the French people whom I saw, as at 
my own, the great question, the terrible question, was 
this : " What of the War ? What influence would 
this revolution have on the War ? Wliat would be the 
feelings of our comrades at the front when they learned 
that the regiments of the Guard had revolted and that 
the capital was in a state of the most complete anarchy ? 
The least evil that we could expect was a delay of two 
or three weeks in the making of munitions of war and 
in their despatch to the front. But should we not 
see a long period of anarchy with chronic disorders ? 
And we thought of the illuminations in Berlin, which 
was awaiting only this hour, its sole chance of salvation, 
and we thought of those who kept watch from the 
Channel to Alsace, facing the German lines. 

In the centre of the town, at the Astoria, which had 
been transformed into a military hotel, for the accom- 
modation of officers and their wives, there had been 
disorders. A report had been circulated by whom 
was not known that shots had been fired from the 
windows. Soldiers arrived with machine-guns and 
armoured cars, and in a short time all the great bay 
windows of the hotel were broken. The soldiers took 



the hotel by assault ; and the women fled with cries 
of terror. There was a good deal of looting. The 
cellar was forced open, and curious fact and worthy 
of note the soldiers had themselves broken the necks 
of the bottles to prevent their comrades from getting 
drunk. That was an action of rare merit, one without a 
parallel in the history of our revolutions. 

Soukhomlinov, the former Minister of War, had been 
arrested and brought to the Tauris Palace. His 
arrival excited the anger of the soldiers, and the members 
of the Council had with difficulty defended him against 
these madmen, who Avould have snatched his epaulettes 
from him, and wanted to tear him in pieces. In the 
midst of this tumult, old Soukhomlinov had not faltered 
and had proved himself a man. One of the Socialist 
members of the Committee of Workmen who was there, 
related to me this instance of the former Minister's 
presence of mind. As he was passing into the Salle 
Catherine, surrounded by guards, with revolvers and 
swords in their hands, a soldier rushed upon him, with 
his bayonet at the charge. Without flinching, Souk- 
homlinov shook his finger at him, as you might do at a 
naughty child. . . . And the soldier recoiled. . . . 

Wednesday, 1-14 March. 

I WAS informed by telephone from the Military Mission 
that the other two regiments of His Majesty's Rifles, who 
guarded Tsarskoye-Selo, had passed over to the people. 
What remained to the Emperor ? I was told that troops 
and artillery were marching on Tsarskoye from Petro- 
grad. The day would be decisive. 

There was unaccountable excitement in Litheini. 
Nastia, dead with fear, came up the stairs weeping, and 
announced a thousand absurd reports. On the other 



hand, I received a telephone message that, in the town, 
everything was calmer than yesterday. 

It was confirmed that in several places police had 
fired from the roofs with machine-guns. Some had been 
arrested, amongst whom were those who had fired on 
the crowd in front of the Tauris Palace. 

The cold continued to be intense : 15 that night ; 
10 at the time I write ; it snowed, and the sky was grey 
and gloomy. 

Protopopoff returned last night. He alighted in the 
street, approached a student, gave his name and asked 
him to escort him to the Duma. 

The happiest of the released prisoners was Manasse- 
vitch Manouilof. He gave one bound when they opened 
the door, and cried joyously : 

" I am going home ! " 

Rubinstein was also one of those liberated by the 


IN a house in front of the Duma, and at No. 11, 
Litheini, opposite my house, they had arrested police 
agents, who, armed with rifles, had been firing into 
the crowd and upon the soldiers. This news, which 
I myself verified, was truly surprising. In that tragic 
hour in which we were living, at a time when grand 
dukes, high functionaries and generals were coming 
to bow before the rising power of Democracy, and 
forgetting the oath which they had sworn to the 
Emperor, the garodovo'is men belonging to a social 
class despised throughout Russia were animated by the 
sentiment of duty alone ! They had been appointed 
by the Government and the Emperor. They had no 



longer leaders, or organization ; they were disbanded ; 
they acted separately ; without orders ; and with the 
arms which they had concealed, with the munitions 
which remained to them, they carried on, alone, without 
connection with each other, lost in that immense town, 
without a place in which they might assemble, a partisan 
war, and, sacrificing their lives, ran over the roofs, firing 
on the revolutionaries. They knew that the Revolution 
had triumphed ; they saw the regiments passing by, 
amidst the acclamations of the people ; they had nothing 
to expect ; but they continued to serve the Emperor, 
without a shadow of hope. 

Truly, this was an amazing thing, and one which gave 
cause for reflection. 

Every day, some of them were arrested, and often the 
crowd (the soldiers upon whom they had fired and who 
had captured them with arms in their hands) was so good- 
tempered that it contented itself with arresting them, and 
instead of shooting them on the pavement, conducted 
them, without even handling them roughly, to the Duma. 

At three o'clock, I went out. I saw pass one of the 
Novgorod regiments sent that morning. They were 
soldiers of the regular Army, in full campaigning order. 
Their officers marched at their head, and I remarked with 
very great pleasure that the officers had retained their 
epaulettes. I traversed all the centre of the town to 
reach the Rue Gogol, near the Isaac Cathedral. There 
were few, very few, people in Nevsky. 

All the shops were closed and the banks also. Many 
windows had been shattered by bullets, and a consider- 
able number were temporarily boarded up. At the 
street-corners, people gathered in knots to listen to the 
reading of the newspaper which had just made its 



The people were also reading the placards posted up 
either by the Government or by the chief of the Militia. 
One of these placards forbade the looting of shops, and 
gave the directions necessary for summoning, in case 
of disturbances, the Militia and the pickets of soldiers 
entrusted with the maintenance of order. 

I made my way to the military bureau, Rue Gogol. 
They had no news there either from the Stafka or from 
France. I was assured that the Emperor was at 
Bologoya, a station almost midway between Moscow 
and Petrograd. He was there alone with some generals 
of his suite, undecided what to do or where to go, and 
abandoned by everyone. 

The French military attache, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Lavergne, went for the first time to the Duma in a 
motor-car, from which floated a French flag, and per- 
mitted me to accompany him. About four o'clock, we 
arrived at the Schpalernaia, which was blocked by an 
immense crowd. A squadron of Cossacks was there, 
their colonel at their head. With infinite difficulty 
we got past. The title of the French military attache 
which I gave opened to us all the barriers, for no official 
representative of the French Government had yet been 
seen at the Tauris Palace. There was a crush at the 
door, where two mounted Cossacks blocked the entrance. 

A little Jewish student received us in the Circular 
Hall. We gave our names and asked for M. Rodzianko, 
but were advised to see Colonel Engelhart, who was in 
charge of military affairs. In the Circular Hall, we saw 
sacks of flour, boxes of provisions and great loaves of 
black bread piled up. Through corridors which seemed 
interminable, we were conducted to the first floor, where 
the colonel's office was situated. We walked over a 
bed of mud two inches thick and very slippery. At 
every door we came to they demanded the password. 



In brief, there was more order than on the previous 
day, a semblance of organization and fewer people in 
the Circular Hall. But, in the great Salle Catherine, 
detachments of troops, who were tendering their sub- 
mission and who came to be harangued by one of the 
members of the Executive Committee, were continually 
passing. Everywhere, the heat was stifling, and the 
odour which emanated from all those men who had been 
crowded together there for the past four days seemed 
to grip us by the throat. At the buffet, food was 
being distributed to the soldiers and the people who 
were present. There were women- students and men- 
students, these latter for the most part Jews, who were 
organizing the service. 

Near Colonel Engelhart's office there was a barrier. 
We passed it and reached his door. 

An officer requested us to wait, as the colonel was 
in his office, where he was receiving the Grand Duke 
Cyril Vladimirovitch, the first of the Grand Dukes to 
submit to the Duma. A detachment of troops had 
presented themselves at the palace of the Grand Duke, 
who came down and received them on the steps. He 
declared, to the accompaniment of general cheering, 
that he was on the side of the people and the Duma, 
after which he came to the Tauris Palace. 

Through the open door, I caught sight of the crowd 
in the cabinet, marine fusiliers, with fixed bayonets, 
and, in the midst of them, the sharp profile of the 
Grand Duke. I recalled to mind the last occasion on 
which I had seen him, at the Chateau de Chambly, sur- 
rounded by women in low evening gowns, with diamonds 
and pearls. The strong odour of the hall, the mud on 
the floors, the noisy crowd, the disorder, the revolu- 
tionary soldiers with fixed bayonets, formed a singular 
contrast to that gay and elegant scene. 



They made us pass into the kitchen, where a woman- 
cook, at her stove, was preparing the dinner with her 
own hands. 

Colonel Engelhart, chief military officer of the 
Executive Committee, came to us. He is a colonel of 
the General Staff, a thin, nervous, fair, intelligent- 
looking man, with hollow cheeks. The French attache 
explained what we wanted of him, and the colonel, after 
making a memorandum, spoke to us about the situation. 

" We belong," said he, smiling, "to an unfortunate 
party. We are the Girondins. In the midst of dis- 
order, we endeavour to create order, to make this 
enormous mass of soldiers return to their barracks, to 
re-establish discipline, to make them obey their officers. 
Already, we have results to show. But the task is an 
immense one. Here, we are creating an organization. 
But we are not alone. Yonder, at the Finland Railway 
Station, there is the Committee of Revolutionary 
Socialist Workmen. At present, there are no differences 
between us. ... But to-morrow ? We will talk of that 
more at leisure another time. To-day, I am receiving 
the Grand Duke. Excuse me ! " 

I had, at the same time, to explain to him the necessity 
of allowing me to telegraph to my journal. The German 
wireless, I said, was announcing the Revolution to the 
whole world. Would the friends of Russia succeed in 
making their voices heard in France ? 

" Yes, yes, you are right," answered he. " I am going 
to speak to Gutchkoff about it. Come back to-morrow, 
and we will arrange that for you." 

And he disappeared. 

Once more came the interminable journey through the 
narrow corridors, where we were hustled at every step 
and through which floated an acrid odour. Laforgue's 



phrase recurred to my memory : " Victorious captains 
have a strong smell." 

We arrived on the ground floor, and proceeded to 
Chingaref's office. I presented our military attache to 
him, and he shook hands with him. 

" I am very pleased, colonel, to see you with us," said 
he ; and his refined, intelligent and kindly face, which 
overwork and nervous tension had hollowed with wrinkles, 
was lighted up by a smile. 

He told me that the Empress and the heir to the throne 
were prisoners at Tsarskoye ; and that the Emperor was 
at Bologoya, on the Moscow line. By the evening of the 
following day, the political question would be decided. 
Already the dynastic question had ceased to obtrude 
itself. The Emperor would abandon the throne. Why ? 
The future would tell. But it was essential that on the 
morrow there should be a regular government, whose 
authority would be acknowledged by everyone. 

We left him. Officers, recognizing our military 
attache, conducted us into the hall of the Executive 
Committee. At the corner of a long table, Chidlovski 
was signing endless papers. Orlof-Davidof, with his 
chubby cheeks, passed by. Deputies conversed on the 
sofas. Soldiers passed, bringing prisoners. People 
formed themselves into groups and embarked upon long 
discussions. I was struck by the number of generals 
whom I saw. That day, they had all come to offer their 
services. It was the Day of the Generals. 

And, yonder, in a waiting-room of the railway-station 
at Bologoya, the Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias 
was awaiting his destiny, almost alone. 

2-15 March. 

THE cold was intense : 20. A violent wind froze us 
to the very marrow of our bones. Before the bakers' 



shops interminable queues were lined up. But aston- 
ishing fact ! they actually distributed opposite my 
house five pounds of flour to each person ; and my two 
servants, by means of a little cunning, ended by securing 
fifteen pounds. We were indeed rich. 

I traversed half the town on foot to reach the Central 
Telegraph Office. The distances at Petrograd are enor- 
mous. I lived more than one and a quarter miles from the 
Duma, which is situated in the eastern part of the town, 
and three miles from the Central Telegraph Office, which is 
in the western. Not a carriage was plying for hire, not 
a tram running ; in going and returning I covered 
nine miles, and, with supplementary journeys, soon 
arrived at a total of from twelve to seventeen. If 
the Revolution continued, I should have the legs of a 
country postman. The town was quiet, and I did not hear 
any more firing. In Litheini there was great animation, 
due to the arrival of new troops. We had already too 
many soldiers at Petrograd. What were they going to 
do with them ? Everyone, whether soldier or civilian, 
wore a red ribbon, one on his breast, another on his hat 
or on his arm, and the reactionaries of yesterday might 
be recognized by the exaggerated size of their ribbons. 

At the Telegraph Office, the censorship allowed every- 
thing to go through. I prayed the gods that my jour- 
nalistic colleagues were constituting themselves their 
own censors. They were merry-making that day. Never 
had they enjoyed such a festival. Sensational events to 
describe, and no censorships ! The telegraph groaned 
under the weight of the sheaves of copy which fell 
upon it. 

Not a shop was open ; not a newspaper was published. 
When would life resume its normal course ? The Social- 
ists took advantage of it to launch a violent leaflet, 
which appeared in the name of the Committee of Workmen 


" Hundreds dragged themselves along the Nevsky. The most to be 
pitied the blind were guided by Sisters of Charity." 

[To face p. 48. 

Many lingered in the snow-covered square 

Each group was commanded by a chief, who carried a white flag. 

[To face p. 49. 


and Soldiers, and to attack the " bourgeois parties " 
of the Duma. And proclamations were distributed 
amongst the crowd and manifestoes posted up on the 
walls. There one read that the " bourgeois " would not 
have the courage to go on to the end ; that they would 
stop half-way ; that the workmen must finish the work 
which had been begun ; that the Socialist Republic ought 
to govern Russia. The soldiers were told that they were 
under no obligation to salute officers, except when on 
duty. Already the madmen cried : " Down with 
Rodzianko ! " There was the great danger. Unless 
that day, at the latest, a Government capable of main- 
taining order was formed, to-morrow it would be too 

In the course of the afternoon, great news reached us. 
It was reported that, after long discussions between the 
Moderate Party and the Workmen's Committee, an 
agreement on essential questions had been arrived at, 
and a Government would be formed, with Prince Lvof, 
who took the Interior, as President. Miliukoff became 
Minister of Foreign Affairs ; Gutchkoff, of War and the 
Marine ; Terestchenko, of Finance ; Chingaref, of Agri- 
culture ; Manouilof, of Public Instruction ; Nekrassof, 
of Communications, and Kerensky (a Revolutionary 
Socialist), of Justice. 

The Emperor would abdicate in favour of his son ; 
and his brother, the Grand Duke Michael Alexandro- 
vitch, would be nominated Regent. 

If this news were confirmed, there was a possibility, I 
believed, of the new order of things being accepted even 
at Petrograd. The morrow would tell us. 

But the difficulties were immense. There were more 
than 100,000 Revolutionary soldiers, amongst whom 
discipline had been relaxed to a dangerous degree, and 
nearly 300,000 workmen on strike, of whom a great 

49 4 


number were armed. To make the former return to 
barracks, the latter to the factory, such was the almost 
impossible task which confronted the new Government. 

By a singular phenomenon, which I shall not attempt 
to explain, butter, which the previous day had been sold 
at 3 roubles 60 the pood (400 gr.), was being retailed 
at roubles 80 ; while eggs had come down from 20 
to 25 kopecks apiece to 4. There were interminable 
queues in front of the dairies, and everyone was 
saying : 

" If this is the Revolution, long live the Revolution ! " 

At night, when I returned home, I saw a battalion 
pass by singing the Marseillaise to Russian words, which 
I could not catch. 

The following telegram sent by the Grand Duke 
Nicholas Nicolaievitch to Rodzianko was published : 

" In agreement tvith General Alexeief, I have appealed 
to the Emperor, entreating him very humbly, Jor the sake 
oj the salvation oj Russia and tlie victorious termination 
of the war, to accept the decision which you have regarded as 
the only issue to the present situation." 


THE News of the Council of Workmen and Soldiers' 
Delegates published the following Prikase (decree), 
addressed to the Army of Petrograd : 

" To all the soldiers oj the Guard, Army, Artillery and 
Fleet, to be put into Jorce forthwith, and strictly, and to the 
workmen oj Petrograd, so that they may take note oj it. 



" The Council of Workmen?* and Soldiers' Delegates has 
decided : 

" 1. In all companies, battalions, regiments, parks, 
batteries, squadrons and detached groups of different military 
services, and on all the vessels of the Fleet oj War, that 
committees of soldiers be elected zvithout delay. 

"2. All the military groups which have not yet elected 
their representatives to the Council of Workmen's Delegates 
will elect a representative of each of the companies, who 
must arrive at the Duma with their credentials on 2-15 

"3. In all its political acts, the military group is re- 
sponsible to the Council of the Workmen's and Soldiers' 

" 4. The orders oj the military commission of the Imperial 
Duma must be enforced, with the exception of those which 
are in contradiction to the decrees of the Council of Workmen 
and Soldiers. 

"5. All kinds of arms, rifles, machine-guns, armoured 
cars and others must be placed at the disposition of, and 
under the control of, the committee of the company or the 
battalion, and in no case ought to be handed over to the 
officers, even should they demand it. 

" 6. While on duty, the soldiers must observe the strictest 
military discipline, but, outside the hours of duty, in 
social and political life, the soldiers possess the rights of every 
citizen. In particular, the salute assigned to the generals 
and the ordinary obligatory salute are abolished. 

" 7. In the same way, the old denominations : ' Your 
Nobility,' ' Your Excellency,' etc., are abolished, and re- 
placed by ' General,' ' Colonel,' etc. 

" A rude fashion of addressing soldiers, and in particu- 
lar the practice of ' thee-ing ' and ' thou-ing ' them, are 
forbidden, and each time that this prohibition is violated, 
and in general, on every occasion that a misunderstanding 

51 4* 


arises between officers and soldiers, the latter must apply 
to the committee of their groups. 

" This decree must be read in each group, active or not. 
" Signed : Petrograd Council of the 

Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates." 

If the spirit of this Prikase was that in which the Council 
intended to organi/e the Revolutionary Army, we might 
as well take leave of the Russian Army. Its life was at 
an end. 


3-16 March. 

THE Government nominated by the Executive Com- 
mittee of the Duma was officially installed yester- 
day. The second number of the News, which made its 
appearance after midnight in the night of the 2nd-3rd, 
announced it. The list of members was as follows : 
Prince Lvof, President and Minister of the Interior ; 
Miliukoff, Foreign Affairs ; Kerensky (member of the 
Executive Committee of the Council of Workmen's and 
Soldiers' Delegates), Minister of Justice ; Chingaref, 
Agriculture ; Gutchkoff, War, and, temporarily, the 
Marine ; Nekrassof, Ways and Communications ; Kono- 
valof, Commerce ; Manouilof, Public Instruction ; 
Terestchenko (a big refiner at Kiev), the Finances ; 
Godnef, Imperial Comptroller ; Lvof, High Procurator 
of the Holy Synod, and Roditchef, Minister for Finland. 

The Government was called the New Government, 
and Prince Lvof, President of the Council of Ministers. 
He was nominated by the Executive Committee of the 
Duma, in accordance with an understanding with the 
Executive Committee of the Council of Workmen's 



The first act of the Government had been to call upon 
the Emperor to abdicate in favour of his son and to 
nominate his brother Michael Regent. At present, 
nothing was known, except that the Emperor had 
refused. Where the negotiations were taking place, or 
who was entrusted with them by the Provisional 
Government, was not stated. 

To-day, we found ourselves in the thick of the 
political crisis. Hardly born, the Provisional Govern- 
ment was obliged to take decisions of the utmost 
gravity upon questions of the highest importance. The 
Government owed its birth to a revolutionary act of the 
Executive Committee of the Duma and of the Executive 
Committee of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates. What 
was to be its programme ? 

It was required, in the first place, to pronounce upon 
the form of Government ; next, to fix the limits of its 
activities. These decisions it was not to take alone. 

In the Tauris Palace, where it sat, it had all about 
it the noisy, blustering crowd of soldiers ; bayonets 
hemmed it in ; Revolutionary Socialist orators harangued 
the troops in the Salle Catherine. An atmosphere of 
fierce excitement reigned in the palace ; tension was 
extreme. The new Ministers required for their delibera- 
tions complete tranquillity and the opportunity for 
long reflection, but the tumult of the Revolution sur- 
rounded them. They were not alone. In a chamber 
not far distant, the Executive Committee of the Work- 
men's and Soldiers' Delegates was sitting. These persons 
were not the Government, but, at their slightest call, 
the thousands of soldiers who filled the palace would 
rush in to support them. 

Tragic hours ! All the day, all the evening, the dis- 
cussion continued with acrimony and even violence 
between the Council of Ministers and the Executive 



Committee. Twice, in the course of that day, the 
rupture was believed to be inevitable, and if the rupture 
came, it was the Committee who would prevail, for it 
alone had force behind it. The hours passed, Kerensky 
making superhuman efforts to bring about an agreement. 

The great question to be decided, and upon which 
neither the Government nor the Executive Committee 
was willing to give way, was this : The Committee 
wished the Provisional Government to proclaim the 
Republic immediately. The Council of Ministers pro- 
posed to constitute itself a provisional government 
until the election of a Constituent Assembly, which, 
elected by universal suffrage, would have the power to 
settle the form of government. The elections would be 
held so soon as the war was at an end. On this last point, 
the Executive Committee demanded that the elections 
for the Constituent Assembly should be held with the 
briefest possible delay ; in three months at the latest. 
The proposal of the Council of Ministers would have 
the great advantage of postponing for the present 
questions which might agitate the country, and, who 
could tell, bring about civil war. But the Committee, 
conscious of the strength which it derived from the 
present hour, and the bayonets that it had at its ser- 
vice in the Tauris Palace, wished to profit by the 

During the day through which we had just passed, 
the struggle between the Committee and the Govern- 
ment on this point had been most fiercely contested. 
Finally, I ascertained that the Council of Ministers had 
prevailed and constituted itself a Provisional Govern- 
ment without pronouncing on the question of republic or 
monarchy. This point decided, the programme remained 
to be drawn up. 

Later in the evening it was published ; the members 



of the Government had disappeared, worn out with 

The programme of the new Ministry was as follows : 

" 1. Amnesty complete and immediate for all political 
and religious affairs, military revolt and agrarian crimes. 

"2. Liberty of speech, of the Press, of assembly, of 
meeting accorded even to soldiers, so far as the conditions 
of the moment permitted. 

" 3. Annulment of all distinctions of caste, religion and 

" 4. Immediate preparation for tlie summoning of a 
Constituent Assembly, elected by universal, equal and 
secret suffrage, which ivould decide upon the form of Govern- 
ment and of Constitution. 

"5. The police would be replaced by the militia, with 
elected chiefs, ivho would be under the control of the 
authorities of the different quarters. 

" 6. The election for the authorities of the different 
quarters would also be by universal, equal and secret suffrage. 

" 7. The troops who had taken part in the Revolution 
would neither be disarmed nor sent away from Petrograd. 

"8. During the hours of duty, the soldiers would be 
under very strict discipline ; outside tfie hours of duty, 
the soldiers icould enjoy the same rights as other citizens. 

The temporary Government believed that it ought 
to add that it had no intention of profiting by the cir- 
cumstances of the War to delay the realization of the 
measures and reforms enumerated above. 

This act was signed in the first place by Rodzianko, 
President of the Duma, and by Prince Lvof, then by 
the Ministers. You saw at once, on reading this pro- 
gramme, what had been inspired by the Executive 
Committee of the Council of Workmen and Soldiers, 



and where the discussion between the Government and 
the Committee had been the most lively. You saw 
also without difficulty the authority which the Committee 
had assumed and the organic weakness of the Govern- 
ment. All that affected the troops had been the work 
of the Executive Committee. The soldiers of the 
Revolution would not be more than that ; they would 
not again confront the Germans. But what were we going 
to do with these undisciplined troops in the capital ? 
They would be at the service of the Executive Com- 
mittee, and would guard and very closely the 
Provisional Government. 

Thus terminated the first great political day of the 
New Russia. The germs of the conflict between the 
Provisional Government and the Council of Workmen's 
and Soldiers' Delegates were sown. We should see 
if they would develop. But sufficient for each day was 
its own evil, and, all the same, the Government had 
won the victory. During that day I went three times 
to the Duma, where the anxiety was great. On all 
faces was a strained and anxious look. The members 
of the Duma did not attempt to hide their distress, 
and in the Salle Catherine, orators continued to harangue 
the soldiers who marched past, and Avhose deep-voiced 
hurrahs caused the walls of the palace built for the 
Great Catherine's favourite to shake. 

In the town, the Imperial arms were everywhere 
torn down from the fronts of the shops of the Court 
tradesmen, and bonfires made of them. 

At the Tauris Palace, among the detachments of 
troops, was the personal Cossack guard of the Emperor, 
which had abandoned him at Bologoya. 

The heir to the throne had measles with complications, 
39 of fever. In agreement with General Alexeief, the 
Provisional Government summoned to Petrograd as 



Commander-in- Chief of the troops in the capital the 
famous General Korniloff, formerly Commander of the 
48th Division. 

3-16 March. 

AT midday, in the Great Hall of Session of the Imperial 
Duma, the first meeting of the Council of Workmen 
and Soldiers took place. The portrait of the Emperor 
had been removed. The advocate Sokolof, member of 
the Executive Committee of the Council, presided. The 
soldiers, who composed two-thirds of the Assembly, 
sat on the right, the workmen on the left. 

The confusion and hubbub baffled all description ; 
it was a veritable bear-garden. In vain the orators 
mounted the tribune and endeavoured to speak. The 
uproar was such that not a single word could be heard ; 
everyone spoke or shouted from his place. Soldiers 
rushed up from the bottom of the hall. 

" I want to speak before my turn ! " cried one. 

" Just a few words, Comrade President ! " shouted 
a second. 

" No one shall stop me from expressing my opinion 
from my place ! " cried a third. 

A fourth, standing on his seat, pronounced a veritable 
oration, stopping at intervals to bite into a huge loaf 
of black bread. This, as a matter of fact, did not 
trouble anybody, for not a word that he said was audible 
five paces away. You could see that none of these brave 
soldiers had ever in his life attended a public meeting. 
The workmen observed a better discipline. The Pre- 
sident, rising to his feet, adjured them to keep quiet, 
saying that everyone would be able to speak in his turn, 
and that without order no assembly was possible. 

" Very well, very well ! " cried all these great children, 
" we will behave ourselves, Citizen President." 



The speaker in the tribune resumed his speech and 
ejaculated a few words. Immediately the interruptions 
and the uproar began again. 

When a soldier spoke, all the other soldiers applauded 
him, and the workmen interrupted him. When a work- 
man was in the tribune, the soldiers refused to listen 
to him and mocked at him. The spectacle was truly 
amusing. Great pitchers of burnished copper made 
the round of the benches, from which water was poured 
out for these thirsty souls. 


THE question which was being debated if I can venture 
to employ such an expression in the midst of this tumult 
was that of the relations between officers and soldiers. 
They discussed, besides, how the soldier was to defend 
his rights of citizenship. 

As it was impossible to hear a word, I went into the 
corridors and made my way as far as the beautiful Salle 
Catherine, where the crush was inconceivable. I mixed 
with the groups of people, watched them and listened. 
Here was a giant six feet and a half high, wearing a great, 
long-haired Caucasian cap, which formed a strange head- 
dress. He had a bony, sunburnt, lean face, and a trucu- 
lent air. At the height of the excitement, he brandished 
his rifle, holding it with both hands above his head 
to think that, although the hundreds of rifles which were 
handled in that hall were loaded, w r e were still alive ! 
stamped with his foot and vehemently expounded his 

" I returned from the front two days ago. It is God 
who sent me here in time to make the Revolution. At the 
front we were waiting only for that. . . . Won't they be 



pleased, our friends out there ? Yes, yes, we shall beat 
the Germans, but first of all we must finish with the Old 

And he glared ferociously around him, seeking some 
partisan of the Old Regime whom he might devour. 
But there was not one there. Then he turned towards a 
young girl-student, frail, delicate, and distinguished- 
looking, who was listening to him. 

" And you, comrade," said he, with a joyous smile, 
" you are with us. All the women will be with us, thanks 
be to God, and we shall conquer ! " 

His great hand descended amicably on the shoulder 
of the girl-student, who bent beneath the blow and almost 
fell to the ground. 

A little officer passed a few paces away from us. 

" We have no need of those sort of fellows," exclaimed 
the soldier, contemptuously, " it is we who do the 
fighting. We shall easily drive the Germans from 
Russia without his help. Wait a little till I speak to 

Happily, the officer was out of reach, and the soldier, 
hemmed in by the crowd, could not budge. He therefore 
continued : 

" What are they doing at the front, I ask you ! You 
see an officer arrive in a village ; he has a map in a showy 
case banging into his back. He takes his map, opens 
it, studies it, runs his fingers over it, looks to the 
right, to the left, and finally asks me in what village we 
have arrived. Eh ! ... As for me, I have no need to 
hoist a piece of furniture on my back to know as much as 
he does. I address myself to a woman, quite simply, and 
I say to her : ' Well, my pretty dove, tell me, I beg of you, 
what is this village called ? ' and I put my arm round her 
waist. It is much more simple, as you see." 

A student passed, engaged in propaganda. " Under 



the New Regime," he cried, " with the democratic re- 
public, we shall possess the earth." 

The great barbarian looked him up and down and did 
not understand. The crowd gathered round the student ; 
the soldier remained alone. 

Unhappily for himself, the little officer passed by again. 
The soldier sprang upon his prey. He joined him, and, 
brandishing his rifle, with his face almost touching his, 
roared at him : 

" Give me your photo. . . . Where is your photo ? " 

The little officer was very young, good-looking, fair 
and rosy a mere boy. Suddenly, he began to stammer : 

" My pho . . . my pho . . . my pho. . . . What 
photo ? " 

" This is what I think," cried the giant. " Each officer 
ought to have his photo on a card, to show that his regi- 
ment accepts him as an officer. . . . And he ought to 
show it to every soldier who asks for it, that one may know 
with whom one is dealing, once for all. . . . And don't 
tell me," cried he furiously to the trembling little officer, 
" don't tell me that you have not had time to get yourself 
photographed. In twenty-four hours, on Nevsky, they 
will make a meal of you. If you have not your photo, 
stay at home and don't shove your feet in here." 

A second soldier joined in the discussion. He was a 
colossus also, with a fat paunch. He shouted even louder 
than the first, but hesitated a little before the difficult 
words and got muddled. 

" Yes," said he to the officer, " prove to us that you 
have been chosen by your regiment ! Who is to know 
that you have not come here to carry on ' pourgaganda ' ? " 

" I ! ... I ! ..." stammered the little officer. 

The other held him by the shoulders. 

" Yes, why . . . why ... do you carry on ' pirpor- 
ganda ' on behalf of Tsarism ? " 



I ? . . . Never ! " . . . 
" I see plainly that you are for the ' Old Gerime.' ' 
There was a ferment in the Salle. They were bringing 
in a superior officer between several soldiers, with fixed 
bayonets and drawn swords. Everyone rushed towards 

The two soldiers ran in the same direction. " Another 
traitor ! " they cried. The little officer, very pale, seized 
the opportunity to escape and disappeared in the crowd. 

Before a group of soldiers passed the sad hero of a 
recent celebrated law-suit, the fat Orlof-Davidof, with 
his flat feet, his chubby cheeks, and his puffy eyes. A 
soldier cried : 

"There goes Count Orlof-Davidof! He has two 
thousand acres of land " (he had a great deal more than 
that). "It is we who work for him ! And this fat pig 
cannot even live in his own country ! . . . He has five 
palaces in Paris, and twenty mistresses ; while I, I have 
not even one ! . . . And he enjoys himself in the different 
Montie Carlies." 

Another soldier ran towards the door of the Hall 
of Session. He was a little rat-faced man, wan and 

" I must go in. ... I must go in ! " he cried. " I have 
tried already to speak to the delegates ! You understand 
that when you speak inside there, you are troubled, 
unnerved. Then, you cannot help forgetting something 
important ! . . . Let me go in ! I must speak to them. 
... If I do not tell them what I think, it may have the 
most fatal consequences to Russia. . . . Let me go in ! 
Let me go in, I say ! " . . . And, with outstretched nose, 
he tried to slip through a half-opened door of the Hall of 




IN the evening, the News at length published decisive 
documents of the history of the days through which we 
were living. It gave the declaration of the Abdication 
of the Emperor, about whom for several days past the 
most contradictory reports had been in circulation. The 
only thing that was known about him was that he was 
somewhere, almost alone, in the Imperial train, travelling 
at random between Mohilev, Moscow, Petrograd and 
Dvinsk. This historic page was published without 
comment. Even the minds most inflamed by the 
success of the Revolution recognized the nobility and 
grandeur of its tone. 

It bore the following date : 

" Pskojj, 2-15 March, 1917, 3 o'clock" 

Immediately below it, was the manifesto of Michael 
Alexandrovitch, renouncing the throne which his brother 
had offered him : 

" A task of great difficulty has been imposed upon me by 
my brother in transmitting to me the Imperial throne oj 
Russia, in a year marked by a war without example and by 
internal troubles. 

" Inspired as are all tlie people by the idea that the most 
important thing is the welfare of the country, I have taken 
the firm decision to assume the supreme power only if such 
is the wish of our great people, who must, by universal 
suffrage and by its representatives in the Constituent As- 
sembly, decide upon the regime and the new fundamental 
laws of Russia. 



" Invoking the benediction oj God, I entreat all the 
citizens of Russia to submit to the Provisional Government, 
issue of the Duma, to which all power belongs until 
the Constituent Assembly, convoked with the briefest delay 
possible by universal, direct, equal and secret suffrage, 
manifests, by its decision concerning the regime, the will 
of the people. 

" 3-16 March, 1917, Petrograd. 

" Signed : MICHAEL." 

A tempest had arisen, and the dynasty of the Romanoffs 
had disappeared in the storm. It had found no one to 
defend it ; it had crumbled away as if all life were extinct 
in it. The autocrat, who yesterday was reigning over 
160,000,000 subjects, had not seen a single man rise for 
his sake. Neither the Imperial Family, nor the nobility, 
nor the Army, nor the People, had rallied to him in the 
hour of danger. The obscure garodovo'is of Petrograd 
alone had prolonged for some days a hopeless struggle. 

4-17 March. 

THE newspapers still did not appear. The reason of this 
was a curious one. The workmen printers belonged to 
the Social Democratic party, of which they certainly 
formed the most intelligent and also the most advanced 
group. During the days through which we were living, 
this party carried on an active propaganda in the streets, 
in the meetings, at the Duma, in the barracks. There 
were nothing but revolutionary placards posted up on the 
walls or distributed to the passers-by. The Committee 
of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates had caused to 
be published a journal of four pages, and the official news- 
paper, published under the title News by the committee 
of the journalists of Petrograd, and which gave the Govern- 
ment news, was greatly under their influence. The 



number 6/7, published ten official decrees, eight of which 
had been issued by the Socialist Minister. 

The workmen printers besides, appreciating how easily 
they were able to spread their ideas during the silence 
of the important newspapers, had made up their minds to 
delay as long as possible the reappearance of the journals. 

On the fa9ade of the Youssoupoff Palace, Moika, 94, 
a grand placard was posted up, bearing in red letters the 
words : " Hotel of Prince Youssoupoff." We might say 
that it is from the Hotel Youssoupoff that the Revolution 
started. The assassination of Rasputin had been the 
initial shock which had crystallized the slumbering 
energies and made them pass from thought to action. 
To the five revolver shots which had brought down 
Rasputin had responded, in Petrograd, the thousands of 
rifle-shots which had overthrown the dynasty of the 

Life had begun to resume its normal course. There 
was a great crowd in Nevsky ; and almost everyone wore a 
red ribbon. The soldiers carried a red knot on their 
rifles ; the detachments, a red banner. Everywhere the 
Imperial Eagles fixed on the ensigns of the Court trades- 
men were torn down and burned. The corpses of one or 
two horses which had remained in the streets adjoining 
the Nevsky were carried away. Several cabbies made 
their appearance and were hired at exorbitant fares. The 
lamovois (draymen) carried on their great sleighs, on which 
they transported coal, wood and flour, odd travellers. 
You saw there, side by side, a student, a general, a soldier 
and a workman, who were taking advantage of this one 
means of transport to shorten the immense distances of 
this endless town. 

Twice I met battalions headed by bands and red flags 
and commanded by their officers. The bands played the 
Marseillaise, which was on its way to replace Boje Tsaria 


Champ de Mars, where the victims of the Revolution were buried. 

All classes of the people were represented. 

: I il * 

.' r V 


Group after group followed in this procession, which continued 
all day and into the evening. 

[To face p. 64. 

Soldiers honour the victims of the Revolution. 

Workmen and workwomen marched in good order to the graves 
of their dead 

[7*0 face p. 65. 


Krani, and to become the Russian national hymn. Very 
few shops were as yet open, but we hoped that there would 
be a general re-opening on the following Monday. It was 
also hoped that work would be resumed by then in the 
factories and that the newspapers would make their re- 
appearance. It was announced that the trams would 
begin to run again on Tuesday. In the course of ten days, 
I had travelled on an average sixteen miles on foot in 
the snow. To-day there was a snowstorm fanned by 
a hurricane of wind from the north-north-east and 15 
of frost. 

I learned that, before his abdication, the Emperor had 
nominated the Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaievitch 
Commander-in-Chief of the Armies. At the Duma I 
met Vladimir Mitrofanovitch Pourischkevitch. I had 
not seen him since the assassination of Rasputin, in which 
he was one of the three actors, and from which the 
histories of the future will date the commencement of the 
Russian Revolution. Pourischkevitch was congratu- 
lating himself on the rapid success of the Revolution, and 
of the immense distance traversed with so little bloodshed- 
"But I remain a monarchist," said he to me; "for 
immense Russia we require a sovereign with a liberal 
parliamentary constitution." 

I learned not from him that Pourischkevitch wa\ 
carrying on an active propaganda in the barracks for 
the re-establishment of discipline. The immense popu- 
larity of this man, his part during the War, the services 
he had rendered at the front, the fact that he was known 
personally by hundreds of thousands of soldiers whom 
he had clothed and fed in his " revictualling stations," 
rendered him marvellously equipped for this task, 
perhaps the most necessary, the most immediate, of all 
the tasks to be accomplished to-day the restoration 
of order among the revolted soldiers. On this subject, I 

65 5 


learned that the situation in the barracks was deplorable. 
A great number of soldiers had been disbanded and 
had not returned. Many had gone back to their 
villages. Among those who remained, disorder and a 
spirit of anarchy reigned. They discussed the question 
of the election of the officers by the soldiers ; the re- 
organization of the Army ; the salute was in their 
opinion no longer due to officers, except when they were 
on duty ; the soldier after the war intended to become 
a landed proprietor. 

It should be mentioned that we had not at Petrograd 
the regiments of the Guard, but the depots of those 
regiments, each containing some 10,000 to 15,000 men, 
recently enrolled and commanded by an insufficient 
number of rather indifferent officers. This explained 
many things. Besides, the garrison of Petrograd 
amounting to nearly 150,000 men was to-day in a 
condition of complete anarchy. 


I ASSISTED this afternoon at the session at the Duma 
of the Soldiers' Delegates, in which the question of 
the reorganization of the Army was discussed. In the 
Great Hall of Session, about five hundred soldiers were 
assembled, under the presidency of the praporstchik 
Outkine, and assisted by the well-known Social Demo- 
crat Bogdanoff. In the hall, comparative order 
reigned ; some workmen had installed themselves in 
the tribune of the journalists ; two soldiers occupied 
the royal box and, leaning on the balustrade, yawned 
and looked on. The questions on the Orders of the 
Day were as follows : 

(1.) Should the garrison of Petrograd only be 
reorganized ? 



(2.) Should the whole Army in the rear be re- 
organized, leaving the Army on the front intact, 
up to seventy versts from the lines ? 
(3.) Should the whole Army be reorganized ? 

I shall not endeavour to give an idea of the confusion 
of this debate, of the absurdity of the speeches which 
were made, of the failure to understand the most simple 
question which the orators displayed. The majority 
of these tall soldiers were incapable of listening to an 
argument or comprehending the drift of it. On the 
other hand, they were amazingly impressionable. If 
any appeal was made to their sentiments, they could 
be turned in any direction, like weathercocks in the 

The beginning of the sitting was stormy. No one 
seemed to know what was the question under dis- 
cussion. They voted, all the same, with hands uplifted ; 
those who had not raised their hands rushed toward 
their comrades and abused them. A soldier entered 
the tribune, and, in defiance of the President, proceeded 
to speak. 

" Comrades," said he, "I approve of all the Ministers, 
with the exception of the Minister of War. What ! 
We are to have a new chief ! Know that we are the 
Army of the people and that we are going to govern 
ourselves ! " 

Enthusiastic hurrahs ! 

Another took his place. " I am going much further, 
comrades," said he, " I do not approve of any Minister ! " 

Delirium of joy in the Hall ! 

" Let us return to the question," shouted the 
President. " I put the first question to the vote." 

The assembly unanimously adopted the first question. 

" I put the second question to the vote." 

It was accepted with the same unanimity. The third 

67 5* 


voted with a like enthusiasm, so quickly that no person 
had had the time to perceive that each of these decisions 
excluded the adoption of the other two. 

Discussions broke out in the Hall. Cries and shouts 
were heard, and fists were shaken. The President was 
unable to re-establish order, and for a quarter of an 
hour, without leaving the Hall, suspended the sitting. 
When it reopened the tribune was taken by assault, a 
cluster of warriors clung on to the tribune, which was 
approached by a short stair. Finally, a non-com- 
missioned officer seized the citadel and succeeded in 
maintaining himself there. 

" Citizens-soldiers," cried he, " let us organize the 
garrison of Petrograd in accordance with liberty. It 
is they who have won the town, it is they who ought 
to defend it. Let us make equality reign here ! . . . 
Let us send away our officers ! Let us elect those who 
appear worthy to command us. Our officers shall be 
our equals, they shall not address us as ' thee ' and 
' thou ' any more ; we will not salute them any more ! 
. . . Down with the denominations of the Old Regime : 
'Your High Nobility,' 'Your Nobility,' 'Your Ex- 
cellency,' ' Your High Excellency ! ' In future they 
will be : ' General,' ' Captain.' " 

These words provoked thunders of applause. Near 
me a workman wept with joy. The orator continued, 
and his words were reasonable enough : 

" That is your task to-day. To-morrow, we shall 
finish it for the entire Army to-morroAv, when the War 
will be finished. But, for the moment, let us not touch 
the Army at the front ! The organization of a national 
army demands time. Shall we have time to organize 
ourselves while we are fighting ? " (Cries : " No, no, 
bravo ! ") " The Germans, citizens-soldiers, make an 
attack, the cannon roars, shells burst. Shall we cry to 



the Germans : ' Wait, wait, we have no commander 
yet ! . . . Allow us to name by universal and secret 
suffrage the commander of the free troops that you are 
attacking unexpectedly ! ' 

The speaker fell back exhausted. The Hall gave him 
an ovation. It was a thunder of applause. 

But another soldier reached the tribune. He was 
fat, short of breath, perspiring ; his cloak was flung 
over his shoulder, and he waved his cap in the air. 

" Our comrade has spoken well," said he ; " he is an 
intelligent man. . . . But, citizens-soldiers, listen to me 
in my turn. . . . We reorganize Petrograd only, and 
here am I, a free soldier and citizen, going to the 
front. . . . And whom do I find in rny company ? . . . 
An old village friend, the godfather of my son Foma 
Ivanovitch. . . . The Army has remained under the 
Old Regime. Foma Ivanovitch salutes the officers, 
who address him as ' thee ' and ' thou ; ' he speaks like 
a machine, he is like a slave, and he sees me by his side 
me, a reorganized soldier, free, the equal with those 
officers who maltreat him. . . . Then his heart swells 
with sadness ; his soul is full of bitterness, and he says 
to me : ' Piotre Vassillievitch, what have you done ? 
I see clearly that you have forgotten your son's god- 
father ! When you made the Revolution, you thought 
only of yourself. . . . Look, you have made yourself 
free ; but I I am still an animal ! ' 

The soldiers, who had been listening open-mouthed to 
the orator, appeared overcome by the violence of their 
emotions. They were unable to endure the thought 
of the sad lot of Foma Ivanovitch. Their eyes filled with 

" General reform," was the cry ; " liberty for all ! " 

An indescribable tumult followed. The President 
covered his ears with his hands, and decided to adjourn 



the sitting until the following day (Sunday) ; but first 
he spoke to the Soldier Delegates : 

" You are too numerous to discuss matters with any 
profit. Go back to your homes. Name one out of ten 
among you, and to-morrow those whom you have elected 
shall resume the study of the question." 

" But we ? but we ? What shall we do ? " cried all 
the soldiers. " We all of us want to return, all of us ! " 

The President, with tact, said to them : 

" The Council which you will name will be a sort of 
executive committee. Thus, you see, you will already 
have your organization." 

The presentation of this new toy, " an executive 
committee," attracted these children, and the President 
continued : 

" Well, return to your homes, nominate the council 
and send it here to-morrow at midday. And in a few 
days I will summon you all." 

But the soldiers were only half satisfied : 

" But we, what shall we do, until you recall us here ? " 
they demanded. 

And the President terminated the sitting by showing 
himself a profound humorist. 

" You will think, citizens-soldiers ! " said he. 

It was necessary to expel the Soldier Delegates from 
the Hall of Session by force. 


IN the Tauris Palace, men students, the majority of 
whom were Jews, and women students organized the 
services, received visitors, conducted them to those 
whom they desired to see, and occupied themselves with 
thejreprovisioning, and with distributing food to the 



soldiers and tea to the deputies. In a word, they made 
themselves useful. 

In this atmosphere of exaltation, amid the warm odour 
proceeding from the perspiring people, brains became 
over-taxed and intoxicated by the prevailing enthusiasm. 
Each one had his ideas, each one wished to do some- 
thing. Women carried on propaganda on the Feminist 

A charming, pretty and elegant woman insisted upon 
entering the Great Hall of Session, where the Soldier 
Delegates were sitting, to deliver a speech to them on 
Woman's Rights, and to demand the vote for women 
for the Constituent Assembly. They had all the diffi- 
culty in the world in preventing her from passing. She 
revenged herself by addressing her demands to those 
who restrained her. 

I went to the telephone. Three women guarded the 
approach to it. 

' You cannot telephone," they said. 

" And why ? " I asked. 

" We are reserving the telephone for public affairs." 

" But who are you ? " 

" The Telephone Committee." 

" And who appointed you ? " 

" We appointed ourselves." 

Upon which, putting them gently aside, I passed 
through and telephoned. 

Sunday, 5-18 March. 

FOR the first time, the newspapers appeared, un- 
censored. The Retch had an article on the grandeur 
of the work accomplished and on the immensity of that 
which remained to, be done. It appealed for unity. A 
second article demonstrated that the Old Regime could 
not be the real enemy of Germany. Russia and Ger- 



many were the two centres of reaction, and could not 
dispense with one another. Conclusion : Let us make 
war now by the side of our Liberal allies on Prussia and 
militarism. The Den was in opposition. I had to 
seek very attentively in its leading article for a word 
saying that the War ought to be continued all the same. 

The first article of the Novoie Vremya noted with sur- 
prise and joy that France and England had entered into 
diplomatic relations with the new order of things there 
was not even a Government from the Tuesday, the 13th 
(it was an error of a day, as one may see above). 

The cold was still very great, 20 below Zero ; but there 
was bright sunshine. All Petrograd was in the streets ; 
faces were joyful, but the people no longer congratulated 
each other ; they had already grown accustomed to 
victory. And to think that only last Sunday there was 
righting everywhere and that the Old Regime had still 
the upper hand ! In a single week it had been swept away 
like dust by the wind. 

The Police was organized by the students, who wore on 
their left arms a white band with the latters " G. M.*' 
(Town Police). They had under their orders piquets of 

Commissariats had been improvised with platoons of 
soldiers, groups of students. One could telephone there 
in case of need. Many soldiers passed in sections, in 
good order and commanded by a non-commissioned officer. 
All of them carried the red flag, which also floated on the 
snow-whitened roofs of the Winter Palace. Many soldiers 
walked about alone or in little groups. For nearly half 
an hour I walked on Nevsky, in Moskaya, and on the Isaac 
Square, in company with Prince Lievin, first lieutenant 
of the most aristocratic of regiments, the Knights of the 
Guard. Many soldiers whom we met gave him the 
military salute. 



" Every day," said he, " there is some progress ; 
yesterday they saluted more than the day before yester- 
day, and to-day you can see for yourself." 

At 1.30 p.m. I was at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 
where Miliukoff had been willing to grant me some 
minutes of his precious time. 

I was alone in the great ante-rooms which overlook the 
Palace square. The red walls of the Winter Palace rose 
before me. For the first time since it was built there was 
no Emperor in Russia, and in this Ministry where I was, a 
new chief, yesterday a professor, prosecuted before the 
courts by Stunner, his predecessor three months ago, 
came to receive me. 

I found Miliukoff almost voiceless ; the week through 
which he had just passed had subjected him to a nervous 
tension which can hardly be realized. How many speeches 
had he delivered ? How many nights had he passed in 
heated discussions ? 

We spoke of the great problems of the hour of those 
which were immediate : of the re-establishment of disci 
pline amongst the garrison of Petrograd ; of the return of 
the workmen to the factories. Then of those which would 
occupy attention to-morrow ; the summoning of the 
Constituent Assembly, the electoral list. I emerged 
from this short interview with a declaration intended for 
the readers of the Petit Parisien, and somewhat calculated 
to reassure minds in France. 

At the Duma, there was a meeting of the Council of 
Workmen and Soldiers, where five hundred persons 
discussed the question of the resumption of work. Much 
better order was observed than on the previous day, and 
the number of speakers for and against was limited. No 
one was permitted to speak more than three minutes. 
All the soldiers were in favour of the workmen resuming 
their work. But among the workmen speakers, I noticed 



with pain that one only gave as his reason for resuming 
work the necessity for providing munitions for the Army 
and of beating the Germans. For all the others, in the 
intoxication of victory, the War seemed to have no 
existence. They wanted to work only eight hours a day, 
and complained of the hardness of their tasks, etc., etc. 
. . . Finally, a motion was passed in favour of the re- 
sumption of work. The Social Democratic delegates 
had employed all their influence in this direction. 

They voted also for the civil burial of the victims of the 
Revolution, both workmen and soldiers, on the Winter 
Palace Square, in which the Constituent Assembly is to 
sit. A monument will there be raised to their memory. 
The interment was fixed for the 9-22 March. " The first 
day of spring and of a new era of life," said an 
orator, Vladimirof of Moscow, who had been sent to hard 
labour after the insurrection of 1905. 

5-18 March. 

AT the meeting of the Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates 
this morning, one of my friends from the French Military 
Bureau was present, as an officer. He was cheered and 
summoned to the tribune. Here was a French second- 
lieutenant making a speech in Russian in the tribune of 
the Hall of Session of the Duma, the Imperial Duma. 
He spoke clearly and put what he wished to say forcibly. 
He explained to his audience that he belonged to a country 
which had been for a long time free and which had suffered 
much to gain its liberty ; that the French Republic 
possessed an army, that discipline and order reigned there, 
and that the soldiers there had legitimately confidence in 
their officers ; that we were supporting, with Russia, 
which was to-day free, a cruel war against a very powerful 
enemy, and that we should only get the better of him by 
force of order, of will, of discipline, and of hard work. 



My friend's little speech was listened to with the 
greatest attention, and provoked long continued applause. 
He had told his audience, who, in the intoxication of the 
political struggle, were forgetting the national war, truths 
much needed to bring back their fevered brains to a 
more just view of the realities of the situation. But, 
alas ! if he had made a pacifist speech, they would have 
applauded it with the same enthusiasm. 

6-19 March. 

I WAS told of a delightful mot of the Countess Klein- 
michael. This old woman of seventy-five saw five 
able-bodied soldiers arrive at her house. 

" What, my friends ! " said she, " it requires as many 
as five of you to come and arrest me ! One alone would 
have sufficed for a poor old woman like myself ! The 
other four ought to be at the front ! " 

At the Duma, whither they brought her, she en- 
countered Maklakof, who had often dined at her house. 

" Why are you here, Countess ? " he inquired. 

" I was going to ask you the same question, my dear 
friend," replied the old lady. 

The newspapers did not appear this morning as the 
printers had inscribed on their programme forty-eight 
hours' rest, from Saturday evening to after mid-day on 
Monday. The Socialist journals were shooting forth 
like mushrooms after rain : the Social Democrat, the 
People, the Liberty, the Truth (Pravda), the old organ 
of the Maximalists. The Russkaya-Volia, founded by 
Protopopoff, appeared with a staring headline : " Long 
live the Republic," and one saw the old Russian revolu- 
tionary device reappear : " Land and Liberty." 

The University " and the superior schools remained 
closed. The men and women students who were not 
working here were sent into the provinces by the political 



committees to carry on propaganda among the peasants 
in favour of the republic. Eight out of ten were Jews 
and Revolutionary Socialists. The watchword was the 
famous : " The land for the peasants." Already, there 
had been some agrarian disturbances in the governments 
adjoining Petrograd. Peasants had burned the farms of 
many of the landowners. Delegates were sent from the 
Committee to calm them and restore order. 


AT 4.20 a.m. on 14 March, a newspaper reporter 
arrived on an engine from Vichcra at the station of 
Staraia-Roussa. Staraia-Roussa is a junction-station on 
the line which runs from Pskoff to Bologoya, intersecting, 
at Dno, the line Mohilev-Vitebsk-Tsarskoie-Selo-Petro- 
grad, and continuing as far as Bologoya, where it rejoins 
the main line from Moscow to Petrograd. From Staraia- 
Roussa a line runs to Novgorod and Petrograd. All these 
lines, save that of Vitebsk, run into the Nicholas Railway 
Station at Petrograd. The Vitebsk line has for its terminus 
at Petrograd, the railway station of Tsarskoie-Selo, and 
runs into this little town, the seat of an Imperial resi- 
dence, fourteen miles from the capital. At Staraia- 
Roussa were two Imperial trains. The first, which I 
shall call Train B, brought the Emperor's guard and was 
commanded by General Zabel, Commander of the Rail- 
way Detachment, who had, under his orders, a company 
of that special unit and twenty men only of the 
Svodnoi Regiment ; the others had fled. The other 
train, which I shall call Train A, brought the Emperor 
and his suite. 

Why had these two trains arrived at Staraia-Roussa ? 
No one knows. Was it in consequence of certain tele- 



grams that they had changed their direction, and, instead 
of going directly to Tsarskoie-Selo, left the direct line at 
Dno and taken the branch line to Bologoya ? The fact is 
that they found themselves in the night of the 13th-14th 
stopped in this little junction station. They had left 
Mohilev on the 12th, during the night, on the receipt of 
a telegram from the Empress. Since then they had 
wandered about the lines apparently at random and 
without purpose. 

At Dno, in the early morning of the 13th, they had 
proceeded towards Bologoya. Did the Emperor wish to 
attempt to gain Moscow, if Petrograd were forbidden 
him ? At B ologoya, they waited, undecided what to do, 
during the day of the 13th. At Petrograd, it was already 
reported that the Emperor was at Bologoya. At night, 
the trains took the route to Petrograd. At Vichera, they 
came to a stop. No one was allowed to pass further. 
The Emperor was asleep. His personal suite, the old 
Count Frederichs, who was nearly eighty years of age, 
and for twenty-five years had not quitted the Emperor, 
General Vaieikoff, and his son-in-law, Admiral Niloff, had 
concealed from him, as well as they could, the gravity of 
the news which they had learned on the way. A great 
deal of vodka had been consumed in the Imperial train. 

Towards two o'clock in the morning, General Zabel, 
indignant at the silence maintained by the Emperor's 
suite, informed Vaieikoff that it was his duty to warn the 
Emperor, and that he was determined to have an inter- 
view with His Majesty. 

Vaieikoff went to Nicholas II., awoke him, and told 
him that the disturbances at Petrograd were becoming 
more grave, that the Duma was in the hands of " bandits 
and young soldiers." He added that four companies of 
good soldiers would be sufficient to disperse them, that 
700 Knights of St. George were coming by the Vitebsk 



line, commanded by General Ivanoff, to present to the 
Emperor the Cross of St. George of the third class, and 
that at the head of these superb troops and of the garrison 
of Tsarskoie, which had remained faithful, the Emperor 
would recover his capital. 

At that moment, Zabel entered. 

" Sire," said he, " they are deceiving you. Your 
Majesty's troops at Petrograd have gone over to the people. 
A temporary Committee is nominated by the Duma, and 
the entire capital obeys it. Here is a telegram from 
Lieutenant Grekoff, commanding the Nicholas Railway 
Station, giving orders to detain the train at Vichera and 
to prevent it reaching Tsarskoie." 

The Emperor started up. 

" Who," he inquired, " is this Lieutenant Grekoff who 
commands the Nicholas Station ? " 

" The Committee of the Duma," replied Zabel, " has 
nominated the deputy Bublikoff to be Director of Rail- 
ways. Lieutenant Grekoff is acting under his orders. 
The train cannot proceed." 

The Emperor, always so calm, master of himself to 
such a degree that all the witnesses who saw him during 
the last days of his reign and in the midst of the crisis, 
declare that he appeared as if stricken by a kind of stupor 
and insensible to the frightful blows of destiny, made an 
angry gesture, the only one that was noticed in the 
whole course of the Revolution. 

" Why was I not warned ? " he cried. " Why do you 
tell me to-day, when all is lost ? " 

Then, he recovered his composure, and added, as 
though with indifference : 

" Ah, well, so much the better ! If the people insist, 
I shall abdicate. I shall go to live at Livadia, in my 
beautiful garden ; I am so fond of flowers ! " 

Vaieikoff wished to make another attempt to force the 



way to Petrograd, and gave orders to proceed. But the 
railway-men had tampered with an engine. However, 
with the aid of fifteen men of the escort, a second engine 
was attached. Meanwhile, the idea of reaching Petrograd 
had been renounced, and it had been decided to go 
directly to Tsarskoie, by way of Dno. At daybreak on 
14 March, the train went back towards Bologoya, in order, 
come what might, to reach Tsarskoie by way of Dno. 
Near Dno, a telegram was received with the information 
that the garrison of Tsarskoie- Selo had gone over to the 
people, and that the Empress was demanding from 
Rodzianko protection for the Imperial Family. 

" Is Moscow faithful ? " asked the Emperor. 

" Moscow," was the reply, " is entirely on the side of 
the new Government." 

The Imperial train went on, to and fro from Bologoya 
to Dno and back again, not knowing whither to proceed. 

At Dno, the train containing General Ivanoff with 
his Knights of St. George arrived. 

" The only safe course," said the General, " is for his 
Majesty to go to the Army." 

At four o'clock in the morning, the reporter saw the 
Emperor at the Staraia-Roussa Station. He was wearing 
a colonel's cloak and on his head was a papahka, pushed 
back. He passed his hand several times over his fore- 
head, and looked very pale. By his side, Niloff, who 
was quite drunk, was humming confused snatches of 

The train started for Pskoff, where the abdication took 
place. The delegates of the Government were Gutchkoff 
and Shulgin. 

8-21 March. 

THE sun of Liberty caused each day a new efflorescence 
of journals, if I may be permitted to employ that 



expression. All these sheets were Socialistic. Under 
Tsarism, the great organs of the bourgeoisie and the 
governing classes alone appeared. The proletariat had 
no organ and no voice. To-day, ten journals voiced its 
demands. I have mentioned already the Social Democrat, 
the People, the Liberty and the Pravda. The following 
was my collection for to-day : the Workmen's Gazette, a 
journal of four small pages, costing 4 kopecks. Articles : 
" At last ! " and afterwards : " From Michael the 
First to Michael the Last." A second journal expressed 
the aspirations of those republican souls who happened 
to be members of the corps of officers, under the title : 
" The National Army," with an interminable sub-title, 
which would have made Flaubert die of despair owing to 
its accumulation of " ofs," " Organ of the Council of the 
Union of the Republican Officers of the National Army." 
Impartially, it gave on the first page the manifesto of the 
Provisional Government and Decree No. 2 of the Com- 
mittee of Workmen and Soldiers. First Article : " The 
National Army." It arrived at this beautiful formula : 
" Submission within replaces slavery without." 

I skimmed all the newspapers. They bore a great 
resemblance to each other and made use of the same 
vocabulary. In every line one found antithetic expres- 
sions : Tsarism-proletariat ; reaction-liberty ; capital- 
ism-communalism. All this was very well known ; 
I passed on. 

I sought in vain for an article, a single article, the 
author of which appeared to remember the present hour, 
the enemy in Russia, the World War, the necessity of 
conquering the Germans. I sought and I sought, but in 

Ah ! Here at last was the article which I had been 
looking for : " The war is not finished ; organize your- 
selves ! " I read it. ... Oh ! what a fraud ! The 



organization which was in question was not to defeat the 
enemy without, but the enemy within. It was the 
bourgeois who must be conquered, and not the German !j 

8-21 March. 

YESTERDAY, French soldiers and non-commissioned 
officers who spoke Russian well were invited by their 
comrades to come and have a talk with them about the 
French Republican Army, in the barracks. Gutchkoff 
had authorized them to do so, and I could well believe 
was glad of this unhoped-for chance to bring back a 
little sense into the intoxicated brains of the heroes of the 

I met one of our soldiers as he was leaving one of these 
conferences. He had been received at the barracks by a 
committee. The announcement of his coming had been 
posted up everywhere. In one mess, seven hundred 
soldiers had crowded in, and some had clung to the beams, 
so that they might hear better. A platform was prepared. 
Our comrade told the Russian soldiers what one can 
imagine he would as to the necessity of discipline in every 
army, even the most democratic, and showed the greater 
liberty which the soldier enjoyed in France. The 
auditors asked him questions ; he replied and they 
applauded him. 

These conversational conferences went on multiplying. 
It was sincerely to be hoped that the good seeds sown 
would germinate in some people's brains. 

From elsewhere, I had bad news of the Army. 

Agitators from Petrograd had arrived at the Dvinsk 
front and had begun to stir up the soldiers, amongst 
whom mutinies had broken out. The public had had wind 
of the affair ; a letter from General Russki had caused a 
sensation. He demanded that every person sent for the 

81 6 


purpose of propaganda to the Army by the Committee 
of Workmen and Soldiers should present himself first, 
as was only reasonable, at his headquarters, at Pskoff. 
Boutchbrouievitch, in the name of the Committee, had 
replied to him in a letter, of which the text was given 
to-day only, in which he declared very bluntly to the 
general that, since the Revolution, there was freedom of 
speech in Russia. If the Army on the front were dis- 
organized, one could foresee the future. We should drive 
the Germans out of France and out of Belgium, but they 
would find ample compensation in Russia, which would 
see too late at what a price a few months of liberty, 
or, rather, of anarchy, had been purchased. 

8-21 March. 

Prince Lvof, who received me at four o'clock, explained 
to me that, thanks to the organization of the zemstvos in 
each government, and to the immense work performed 
during the War by the zemstvos, which had, in fact, taken 
the place of the governors in regard to assistance for the 
Army and revictualliiig, the Provisional Government 
had found there a proper authority which, in one hour, 
had been able to replace the governors and vice-governors 
of the Old Regime, all of whom had been dismissed. 
Thus, the great administrative machine of the Russian 
Empire had not stopped for a day. The prince gave 
utterance to a notable observation on the small sacrifice 
of human life that so prodigious a change had cost. 

" That," said he to me, " can be explained only by the 
inexhaustible kindness of the Russian heart." 

The prince saw progress being made every day in 
order and the resumption of work. 

We had 20 of frost. Never had such severe weather 
been seen at this season of the year. To-day, the first 
day of spring, my cook said to me : 



" It is God who is punishing us, Sir, by refusing to 
give us the spring." 

My cook was, until lately, a strong revolutionary, and 
used to declare that, after the War, she would go down into 
the street and lead the students to the houses of the 
generals to hang them. But, on the famous Monday on 
which they fought so fiercely at the corner of my house, 
Nastia wished to go into the streets in the afternoon. 
Hardly had she reached the corner of the house, when 
bullets began to whistle all about her. She recoiled, 
terrified. The door was already shut, but, almost dead 
with fear, she waited for five minutes in the corner of the 
side door, from which she was able to get back to 
my apartment. Going into her kitchen, she burst into 
resounding sobs; her cries filled the apartment. Since 
that time she is on the side of order and discipline. 

Already, I perceived the same rapid change of face 
among many people occupying a more exalted social 
station than my worthy cook. 

Cyril Vladimirovitch displayed the red flag on his 
palace. He was the first of the Grand Dukes to submit 
to the Duma. He had given revolutionary interviews to 
the Russkaya-Volia. The Grand Duke Cyril, who is 
married to an Englishwoman, appeared to me to be 
preparing from a distance his election to the Imperial 
Throne ; but he was going too far and spoke of the 
Emperor in a manner which created disgust. 

Number 9 of the News of the Committee of Workmen and 
Soldiers announced : " The journals of the Extreme Right, 
the Zemstchina, Voice of Russia, and Bell, are forbidden 
by the Executive Committee. As for the Novoie Vremya, 
since this journal has neglected to demand authoriza- 
tion from the Committee to appear, its publication is 
suspended until the issue of a new order." 

83 6* 


All weekly and monthly publications were forbidden 
without the permission of the Committee. 
Long live Liberty ! 

A ray of hope. To-dav. platoons of soldiers were 
drilling in the streets under the command of their old 
non-commissioned officers. 

9-22 March. 

THE work in the factories was not yet resumed seriously. 
Putilof, where 35,000 workmen are employed, was 
doing nothing. The workmen had destroyed several 
pieces of machinery. They wanted the eight hours' day 
which was granted them, notwithstanding that it was a 
time of war but they wanted to name their foremen, 
the engineers and the directors. In fact, they did not want 
to work ; there was little patriotism among them. Yet 
they drew their pay each day, without doing anything at 
all. Why should they start working ? 

The Committee of Workmen and Soldiers was assuming 
more and more importance. It was conscious of its 
strength that of bayonets. Soon it would become more 
exacting. It had already summoned almost an entire 
regiment to the Salle Catherine. The orators had 
explained that there was a divergence of views between 
the Government and the Committee on the subject of 
the Emperor, whom the Government wished to send to 
England, while the Committee had decided to keep him 
at Tsarskoie, in a state of arrest. They said : 

" It is the duty of the Committee to watch the Govern- 
ment. Comrades, you have your bayonets in your hands. 
Support the Government so long as it realizes the wishes 
of the Committee ; but, if it opposes them, then, bayonet 
in hand, defend the Committee." 

We are at the dawn of Liberty ; but already one 



perceives the gradual approach of a conflict which 
will range in opposition the Government, which 
possesses intelligence without strength, and the Com- 
mittee, which has more force than intelligence. 

I knew that Kerensky was displaying an energy, an 
intelligence, a patriotism unparalleled in making the 
voice of reason heard in the Committee and in averting 
a conflict which seemed inevitable. The personality 
of Kerensky was growing in importance every day. He 
is the man whom the Revolution has obviously brought 
forth from the ranks. It is probably his speech at 
the Duma on the Thursday which preceded the 
Revolution which decided the Government to prorogue 
the Duma and had thus precipitated events. He 
was exhausted by fatigue. Yesterday, at Moscow, he 
fainted in the middle of a speech in which he said : 

" No, I will not be the Marat of the Revolution ! " 

How many weeks would elapse before he would be 
treated as a renegade ? 

The Emperor arrived at 11.30 a.m. at Tsarskoie 
station, pale as death, and entered, unescorted except 
by his aide-de-camp, Dolgorouky, a motor-car in 
which he reached the Palace, where he was kept under 
arrest, as well as the Empress. The last of the Grand 
Duchesses had, in her turn, just caught the measles. 
The Provisional Government was said to be about to 
send the Imperial Family to England as quickly as 
possible. But as we have already seen, the Govern- 
ment on this point had to reckon with the opinion of the 
Committee of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates. 

9-22 March. 

I MET a praporstdiik, the bravest of the brave, who, 
although belonging to a great and wealthy family, had 
fought from the beginning of the war, in the " Savage 



Division," as a private soldier, had won three Crosses 
of St. George on the field of battle and had been wounded 
twice. While convalescing at Petrograd, he had been 
surprised by the Revolution, and obliged to do as all 
his comrades did submit. He was ill, emaciated, and, 
in my presence, gave vent to the feelings which he was 
unable to restrain. 

" I am going away ! I am going to serve in France. 
. . . Russia is no longer fit for men like myself ... I 
feel stifled ; I am going away from it. . . ." 

I observed that he was no longer wearing his magni- 
ficent crosses. 

" Where are they ? " I asked him. 
" How can I wear them to-day ? " he answered, with 
a despairing gesture. " Look, I am no longer able to 
carry my sword. Then, how shall I defend my decora- 
tions, if people insult them ? I have taken them off. 
... I shall not put them on again." 

The words of this brave man affected me deeply. I 
had seen during the past few days at the Duma, and even 
so late as yesterday, at Prince Lvof 's house, those recently 
in authority and the courtiers of the Old Regime bow- 
ing down to the rising sun. The distress of this officer, 
grieving over his violated oath and over all that he 
saw around him, after a life spent in honour, had some- 
thing about it refreshing and wholesome. 

" Go to France," I said to him, " but you will return. 
Russia will always have need of men like you." 


THE Revolutionary journals were redoubling their 
violence. The Pravda, to-day, had an abominable 
article, in which it told the soldiers to leave their 



trenches and to proceed to the trenches of the " brother 
Germans." In a general fashion, the extreme party 
were conducting a furious propaganda in favour of 
peace. What peace ? They did not say. But we 
foresaw the peace that victorious Germany would 
impose on anarchical Russia. The madmen, the 
ignorant, the visionaries of the Extreme Left refused 
to listen to anything. Their cry was : " Down with 
the War ! " The Government was unable to impose 
silence upon them. It confined itself to publishing 
to-day lengthy appeals to the citizens and soldiers, 
demonstrating to them the German danger. A German 
attack on the lines of Dvinsk ; the German fleet taking 
Petrograd such was the possibility which the Govern- 
ment placed before our eyes this morning. The last 
threat appeared, alas ! only too justified. A great 
number of the officers of the Baltic fleet had been 
massacred. What was the Baltic fleet worth to-day ? 
And it was the only defence of Petrograd against the 
powerful and intact German fleet. These appeals were 
understood by men of good sense ; but who listened to 
them among the revolted soldiers and workmen ? No 
one, and a single act of the Provisional Government 
stopping this abominable propaganda would effect more 
than a thousand words. But of this act the Govern- 
ment was incapable. At Petrograd, it had nowhere 
where it could lean for support. And, besides, the 
worthy men who were governing us were dreamers also ; 
they believed in the mystic virtue of liberty. At bottom, 
they themselves were nearer than they thought to 
Tolstoi and his philosophy of non-resistance to evil. 
They imagined that truth would prevail by its own 
strength. They allowed things to drift. . . . 

Already, the revolutionaries and anarchists treated 
the Government as suspected persons, and proposed a 



new Government ; names were mentioned which were 
absolutely unknown. 

The role of the German agitators and agents-pro- 
vocateurs of the old Government was certain. They 
were exciting the labouring masses and the soldiers, by 
showing them that they had only to realize their 
strength to reach the paradise of which Communism 
dreams and universal peace. They found ready listeners 
among the ignorant who had been able in twenty - 
four hours to participate in the destruction of a rotten 
regime, but did not understand by what hard and long 
experiences liberty is won. That was the terrible danger 
which threatened us. 

The Government did not budge. It was not strong 
enough either to make peace or to make war. 

Never, since the first weeks of the war, had we been 
oppressed by cares more heavy. The immense labours 
of the Allies, sustained throughout so many perils, 
purchased by so many sacrifices, by so much bloodshed ; 
the work of entire peoples aimed at the victory which 
we believed was at last within our grasp : all this, at the 
last minute, would come near to being thrown away, if 
Russia failed in her task and dishonoured herself. 

10-23 March. 

IN the midst of our anguish, there appeared a ray of 
hope. Delegates from Moscow arrived to recall their 
comrades of Petrograd to their duty to the nation. 
Moscow had resumed work for the War; the factories 
had reopened ; in the barracks order had been re- 
established. But here ! . . . Moscow was displeased 
with Petrograd. Moscow thought of the War which 
must be finished, which must be won. Moscow suffered 
with impatience the sterile agitation, the reign of 



demagogues who outbid one another for the popular 
favour, the anarchy of the barracks, the laziness of 
the workmen. Her delegates spoke severely ; they 
even threatened to starve Petrograd, if Petrograd 
refused to work, by cutting the railway. It was to be 
hoped that the Muscovites would succeed in making 
themselves understood. 

I had information about the demands of the workmen 
in one of the best factories of Petrograd, one of those in 
which the relations between employers and workmen 
had always been excellent. 

The workmen demanded an eight-hours' day ; it was 
granted them. But this concession represented more 
than a 20 per cent, reduction, for the Russian workman 
is very slow in getting to work ; he requires an hour 
to set himself going. Thus, the output would be reduced 
by more than 20 per cent. 

It was necessary to pay for the eight hours, as though 
the men had been working for ten. 

Increase of wages by 30 per cent. There were work- 
men, mounters and specialists, who made at the old 
rate of wages from twelve to fifteen roubles. 

The men complained of the necessity of having to 
form a queue to get their provisions. The manager 
proposed the establishment of a canteen, which would 
sell to them at fixed prices provisions and other 
absolute necessities. They refused, without even dis- 
cussing the matter. However wearisome it might be 
to stand about in a queue, it was more agreeable to do 
this than to work. 

They demanded the privilege of naming their foremen 
themselves, even the engineers. 

They demanded, finally, a thing practically impossible 
in the mill of which I am speaking : to add more beds 



to the infirmary, which had always had more than suffi- 
cient for the needs of the factory. They knew them- 
selves that the thing was useless and unrealizable. In 
fact, they did not want to work, or, if they did work, 
as slowly and as little as possible. And yet these work- 
men were unquestionably the pick of the operatives of 
Petrograd ! 

Ten days had passed. The Revolution was accom- 
plished. When we turned and looked back, we were 
stupefied to see with what prodigious rapidity it had 
been achieved. Two or three days of disorders, in 
point of fact, not very serious ; then, in a single day 
that of March 13th the ancient edifice raised by the 
Romanoffs had crumbled to dust. 

It had endured for three centuries. The Romanoffs 

had brought Russia to a social and economic condition 

extremely advanced. No country in the world's history 

had known a development, I do not say as complete, 

but as rapid. Russia, which, under Michael I., had 

been merely Muscovy, was, under Nicholas II., the 

greatest empire of the world. It extended from the 

Prussian frontier to the Pacific Ocean ; from the Arctic 

Ocean up to Elbruz, and comprised a hundred different 

populations, yesterday hostile to each other, to-day 

dwelling in the Imperial peace. It had sufficed for 

some regiments to pass over to the Revolution in the 

capital for the masters of that colossal empire to return 

to the obscurity from which they had emerged. And 

such was the placidity, the indifference, of the Russians, 

that the Revolution had been accepted throughout the 

length and breadth of the country, without a single 

province rising to say : " We did not desire this change." 

The bureaucracy was the prop of this immense body. 

That it had possessed great qualities one could not 

doubt, since the Central Power there had almost always 



been weak ; and it was in fact the bureaucracy who 
made of these hundred heterogeneous peoples a unified 
nation, policed, administered, organic and strong. 
It was the patient work of authority. Generations of 
statesmen had contributed to create it, to arrange the 
thousands and thousands of wheels, which, well or 
badly, caused the administrative machine to move 
even in the smallest villages of the Empire. The official 
was, it is true, most frequently, bad ; he was a robber, 
but he worked all the same and accomplished his 
necessary task. The more I travelled in Russia, the 
more stupefied I have been, by the enormous amount 
of work accomplished by the administration, which 
was directing into its proper channels, regulating, 
guiding, the almost boundless creative power of the 
Russian people. 

Superficial observers, arriving from the West, used 
to say : " How backward Russia is ! " But I, seeing 
the giddy rapidity with which Russia has passed from 
chaos and quasi-barbarism to a civilization, in part as 
advanced as that of the United States of America, I 
told myself, on the contrary : " There is not a country 
in Europe which in so short a time has developed and 
has required so few centuries to enable it to establish 
a modern State, rich and powerful." 

The name of the Romanoffs will be associated in 
history with that of the quasi-miraculous constitution 
of the Russian nation. 

And now the Romanoffs are no more. If Latin quota- 
tions were not out of date, I should write : " Nascitur 
novus rerum ordo." What will be this new order of things 
we and our sons will see ? The parts still badly welded 
together of this too-vast Empire, will they be separated 
from the body ? Will the State break up ? Already, a 
thousand signs indicate a re-awakening of particularist 


activity in the provinces. The different nationalities 
demand their autonomy. Poland has won her game, 
Lithuania, Esthonia, Courland are agitated, and Ukraine, 
which includes more than twenty million inhabitants. 
We shall see Bessarabia, the Cossacks, the Caucasus, 
Armenia, Turkestan demand their independence and 
autonomous life. Already the politicians foresee a 
Federation of independent States. The link which will 
unite them will be feeble, very feeble. Russia will be 
no more than a club of States, without strength, without 
unity, incapable of defending the Imperial interests. 

The bureaucracy represented the Imperial power, even 
in the remotest parts of the country. The official was 
dishonest and detested. When the Revolution arrived, 
you saw everywhere the fall of a petty tyrant, greedy and 
troublesome, and, everywhere, the people raised cries of 
joy to salute the end of his reign. 

Another source of astonishment. The Revolution, had 
it been willed, prepared, organized by a political party ? 
No. Without doubt, for a long time past, in Russia, 
everyone used to predict the Revolution for the following 
year ; but, on account of its being announced so often . 
people ended by ceasing to believe that it would come. 
In any case, during the present War, none of the great 
political parties had premeditated the downfall of the 
Empire and the proclamation of the Republic. The 
Republic, who believed in it ? A few dozens of revolu- 
tionaries, and no one else. The immense majority of 
politicians would have declared themselves satisfied by the 
establishment of a constitutional monarchy with a parlia- 
mentary regime. And now in some hours we had passed 
from despotism to the Republic, to a Republic beside 
which our French Republic had the appearance of a 
bourgeois one. 

Once more who had wished it ? Xo one. 



In the general discontent which filled people's minds, 
in the enervation produced by two years and a half of 
war, in the sufferings caused at Petrograd by the failure 
of supplies, sufferings rendered the more acute by the 
rigour of a winter such as the memory of man had never 
known, it had sufficed for a few factories to be closed, for 
a few thousand operatives out of work to be walking about 
the Nevsky Prospect, for the police to adopt clumsy 
and insufficient measures, for the employment without 
reason of the troops troops composed not of experienced 
soldiers of the active army, but of reservists, numerous 
but badly trained, of the regiments of the Guard to 
bring about a conflict which, on a sudden, in a single hour, 
by the passing over of these troops to the insurrection, 
had become a triumphant revolution, applauded by all 
and sufficiently strong to overthrow the Emperor and to 
destroy the Empire. 

In this revolution, one sought in vain for a plan, a 
premeditation. Everyone had been taken by surprise. 
The movement had been so rapid that no one, at any 
moment, would have been able to stop it. The tide 
swept over all the dikes. A solution which was a good 
one at ten o'clock in the morning, was no longer worth 
anything at mid-day. The constitutional monarchy, 
perhaps still possible on the Monday morning, was in- 
admissible at midnight. That they had not proclaimed 
the Republic on the Wednesday was an incomprehensible 
miracle to-day. And here we were with a Provisional 
Government, well-intentioned, intelligent, without the 
shadow of authority, a Council of Workmen's and 
Soldiers' Delegates of three thousand members, with an 
Executive Committee, in appearance all-powerful ; a 
hundred and fifty thousand soldiers who no longer obeyed 
their commanders, even those whom they had themselves 
nominated, and a proletariat of three to four hundred 



thousand unorganized operatives, an amorphous mass, 
over which one felt already that the Committee had no 

That, that was Petrograd, the seat of the Government, 
the town of the Revolution, and about us was immense 
Russia, unknown, mysterious, inert. 

And on the frontiers west of the Empire, from the 
Baltic to the North Sea, were thousands of cannon and 
two million enemies, who watched us and awaited 
their hour. 

The Revolution, so far, had not been a bloody one ; 
the losses in the street-fighting amounted to some thou- 
sands of victims. But the people and the triumphant 
Army had not rushed to loot the banks, the shops, or the 
houses of the rich. These armed workmen and these 
disbanded soldiers had neither burned the factories nor 
hanged the aristocrats. All had taken place in the 
midst of a calm wonderful, stupefying, as if this people 
knew neither anger nor rancour ; and, if the remote cause 
of this order in anarchy, of this respect for property and 
for human life in the midst of the unbridling of passions, 
must be sought, as Prince Lvof said, in the " inexhaustible 
kindness of the Russian heart," the near cause was to be 
found in the absence of alcohol. 

They were sober workmen and soldiers who made the 
pacific Revolution. 

But to whom was due the suppression of alcohol ? Who 
had made of this alcoholic people a sober people ? Who 
had, from one day to another, realized this miracle before 
which all the democracies of the world are powerless ? 

It was Nicholas II. ; it was the dethroned Emperor, 
who preserves, despite his faults, the honour of having 
realized the greatest internal reform which has been 
accomplished in the countries which are at war to-day : 
the suppression of alcoholism. 



It was announced that Nicholas Nicolaievitch, nomi- 
nated Generalissimo by the Emperor before his abdica- 
tion, had left Tiflis and arrived in Petrograd. It was 
already certain that the Provisional Government would 
not confirm the nomination made by the Emperor. 
The Grand Duke enjoyed great popularity in the Army, 
and authority. But the hour of the Romanoffs was 

11-24 March. 

I WAS with Kerensky this morning, at the Ministry. He 
is quite a young man, with a long, bloodless face, and 
eyes extraordinarily blue and clear, which have a habit of 
blinking. His features bear the marks of unutterable 
fatigue. During the fortnight through which we had 
just passed, Kerensky had been in the breach, every 
minute of the day and the night, haranguing soldiers and 
workmen, accomplishing arduous work in the commissions 
and councils of the Government. Member at the same 
time and the only man to fill both positions of the 
Provisional Government and of the Committee of Work- 
men's and Soldiers' Delegates, he had urged the first for- 
ward and moderated the impetuous ardour of the second. 
Of a generous nature, Kerensky had attached his name to 
the first reform of the Criminal Code : the abolition of 
the death penalty. And so we shall have a Revolution 
without the guillotine ! I shall be curious to know how 
many human lives the suppression of the death penalty 
will cost Russia. 

Kerensky said to me : 

" There are still great dangers, but, in my opinion, the 
most critical hour is past. All that you may want to 



know, we shall tell you. What we are going to do, we 
shall warn you of. Come here whenever you like. We 
shall have no secrets. We wish to act, in short, in open 
day, with the fullest publicity." 

In answer to a question about the relations between the 
Committee and the Government, he said : 

" The Committee recognizes the Government as the 
only Government, and the Government is fortunate in 
being in contact with the people and the soldiers through 
the medium of the Committee." 

All the same, I thought that here Kerensky took an 
optimistic view of matters. I knew that, that very day, 
the Committee of Workmen and Soldiers had voted a 
resolution contrary to that of the Government on the 
question of sending the Imperial Family to England. 
The Committee had decided that the Imperial Family 
should remain at Tsarskoie, and, the same evening, at 
the Michael Theatre, in a general assembly, it was decided 
that a Commission elected by the Committee should be 
sent to Tsarskoie to make sure that the Emperor was 
securely guarded, and that a platoon of picked soldiers 
should accompany it. 

Here was a revolutionary measure of the first import- 
ance. The Government said nothing, and could say 

Kerensky, on the question of Votes for Women, replied 
that that would be postponed until after the meeting of 
the Constituent Assembly. They had neither the time 
nor the means to organize so vast a change in so limited 
a period. 

The Republic would emerge, without a shadow of doubt, 
from the Constituent Assembly. 

On leaving Kerensky, I went to see General Korniloff. 
who had the heaviest, the most delicate, task before him, 
He had been nominated by the Provisional Government 



to the command of the military district of Petrograd and 
environs ; he had 150,000 soldiers to bring back to order 
and discipline. 

Who is Korniloff ? In the first place, a hero ! 

Commander of the 48th Division, " Suvaroff's " Division, 
he had made it so celebrated in the first ten months 
of the war that it was now called Korniloff's Division. 
He had covered the retreat from the Carpathians, and, 
at the head of a battalion of the extreme rearguard, had 
been surrounded, and, after a long combat, grievously 
wounded and made prisoner. Interned in Austria, he 
had spent fourteen months there. But, at the time of 
the declaration of war by Roumania, he effected his 
escape, and on foot, sinking with hunger, walking by night 
and concealing himself by day, gained the Roumanian 
frontier, where he arrived in September, 1916. He now 
took command of an army corps. 

He is a man of forty-seven, of middle height and dark 
complexion. The Mongolian type is very pronounced in 
him, a curious and very Russian mixture of heroism and 
shrewdness. Asiatic cunning will be more useful to him 
a hundred times over than bravery, to enable him to 
manoeuvre in the midst of these 150,000 soldiers, armed 
with bayonets and intoxicated by their easy victory 

If he succeeds in his task, instinct will serve him more 
than courage, for he must use shifts, tack about, turn the 
flank of the difficulties which would break his head, if he 
attacked them in front. 

Korniloff is, finally need we say it ? a patriot. A 
Frenchman who is conscious of the immense stake in 
the game which is being played to-day has no need 
to conceal his anguish. The general understands and 
shares it. He labours for the glory and honour of 
Russia in the struggle in which we are all engaged. 

These^are^the^points to which he drew my attention : 

97 7 


1. The officers are only appointed by the soldiers, 
but it is he, Korniloff, who nominates them. It is 
natural, besides, said he, that a soldier should have no 
confidence except in the officers who have been with 
them in the difficult hours of the beginning of the war, 
when the risks were great. 

2. Korniloff had already nominated the commandants 
of the garrisons in the environs, and officers who had 
been accepted by the soldiers. 

3. There was an understanding with the soldiers 
that detachments should go to the front. This was in 
complete contradiction with the report that was being 
circulated in the town, that the soldiers had decided 
not to return to the front. 

4. Korniloff found it possible, and even sometimes 
easy, to talk with the Committee of the Council of Work- 
men's and Soldiers' Delegates. He could discuss matters 
with them ; he could make them listen to reason. 

5. Korniloff went each day to the ranks, talked with 
the soldiers and the officers, and reviewed them. 

He told me, finally, that the progress of discipline 
and of the military spirit was certain, and that he could 
bear witness to an improvement in the state of the 
barracks during the last week. 

He gave me his telephone number at the Military 
Command and at the Ministry, and told me the hours 
when I had a chance of finding him. 

" Tell your military attache to come and see me," 
said he. " I will take him into the barracks with me." 

12-25 March. 

THE Government uttered a cry of alarm. The enemy 
was threatening the capital. He was massing soldiers 
on the Riga-Dvinsk front ; he was preparing the fleet 
for an attack through the Gulf of Finland. Petrograd 



was in danger. The Government without doubt hoped 
to bring everyone back to their pressing duty. . . . 

But the only effect of the proclamation was to spread 
panic among the middle classes, who besieged the rail- 
way stations. A queue of two thousand persons might 
be seen each day before the station, where tickets were 

Chingaref, the Minister of Agriculture, was preparing 
a vast project for the monopoly of corn. The Govern- 
ment intended to buy what remained of the harvest of 
1916 and the entire harvest of 1917. 

An engineer gave me some interesting information in 
regard to the situation in the factories. Out of thirty 
factories in Petrograd, one only was working normally. 

Everywhere, the workmen delegates acted in a 
moderating sense, but when their backs were turned, 
anarchical influences often resumed the upper hand. 
In the grand factory of Okhta, the violent spirits had 
driven away the committee of management. Then 
they had entered the offices. They saw on the table 
bundles of papers, piles of letters which had to be an- 
swered, orders which had to be executed. They stopped, 
dumbfounded, not knowing what next to do. A delegate 
of the Committee arrived, sent back these poor people 
to their benches and workshops, and recalled the 

The eight-hours day had been decided upon ; some- 
times with supplementary hours, which would be paid 
for ; sometimes, a single factory, with three shifts. On an 
average, the operatives worked forty-five hours a week. 

In the Aiwaz factory, in the Viborg quarter, 5,000 
hands were making fuses. The ordinary mechanics 
worked by the day, the experts by piece-work ; they 
drew as much as twenty roubles a day. The women 
even made as much as eight or ten roubles. 

99 7* 


We learned, by the publication of the lists of the 
Okhrana, that the former Editor-in-Chief of the Pravda 
(the Truth) a journal of the Extremists, was drawing a 
salary from the Secret Service funds. That was very 
disagreeable for the journal of to-day, but to those who 
were well informed, it occasioned no surprise, for it 
was not the first time that regular relations have been 
proved to exist between the Secret Police and the 
Maximalist party. 

In the afternoon, the Volhynia Regiment, the first 
which had passed over to the people, paraded through 
the town. It marched in good order, with a band at its 
head, and officers. The soldiers carried great placards, 
on which one read, with pleasure, the following 
inscription : 

" Workmen, labour for the national defence ! " 
" No, we shall not quit the trenches ! " " We shall 
carry on the war until final victory is achieved ! " 

I saw in this the fruit of the adroit and persevering 
work of General Korniloff. 

I heard of stirring appeals coming from regiments at 
the front. The soldiers and officers of the 116th 
demanded that power should remain in honest hands : 
" A dishonourable ending to the war will cover Russia 
for ever with disgrace. Let them not hear the cry 
here : ' Down with the War ! ' Do not touch the Army 
at the present hour ! Our true enemies are the Germans 
and the provocateurs." 

One who knew Prince Lvof intimately gave me a 
total of the victims of the Revolution, which amounted 
to 7,000 for Petrograd. This total included all the 
wounded who had been attended in the hospitals and 
ambulances, and the dead. To this must be added 



1,000 wounded attended in private houses. The number 
of the dead was between 1,200 and 1,500. There was 
fighting on the Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 
and the garodovois had continued, for three days longer, 
to fire from the roof-tops with machine-guns and rifles. 

15-28 March. 

AT 10 a.m., the members of the Provisional Government 
took the oath at the Senate. I went there. It was a 
beautiful morning ; the snow and ice sparkled under 
the rays of the sun. God continued to refuse us the 
spring, and kept us at 12 of frost ! Behind Falconet's 
statue of Peter the Great, a bold and nimble cavalier 
of bronze, whose horse is rearing, on the top of a high 
artificial rock, facing the Neva, stands the Palace of the 
Holy Synod and of the Senate, built in the Russian 
style : white columns against a background of pale 
orange-yellow walls, which gave a note of colour to the 
space between the snow which covered the roofs and 
that which carpeted the ground. No one, or hardly 
anyone, was in the Senate, apart from forty senators in 
undress uniform which still implied a good deal of 
gold embossed on their uniforms. A score of sight- 
seers, women, friends, relatives of the Ministers, had 

Kerensky passed, full of business, giving orders. He 
was deathly pale, and his eyes were blinking from fatigue 
rather than from short-sightedness. He was wearing 
a black lounge coat, with a high collar. The senators 
took their seats at the top of a long table, in the form 
of a horse-shoe and very narrow, and the group of ten 
Ministers entered. Some of them wore frock-coats, 
others jackets. They ranged themselves standing 
before the President, who took up the text of the oath. 
The Ministers raised their hands. The President read 



the oath, phrase by phrase. The group of Ministers 
repeated the phrase, but, as was natural, in a confused 
manner and very indistinctly only a vague murmur 
was heard. One sometimes caught a few words, which 
were quickly lost in the hum of voices all talking to- 
gether. When the .taking of the oath was finished, 
Prince Lvof made the sign of the cross. Then came 
the traditional photograph, and everyone went home, 
after this short ceremony, unique in the history of 
Russia, which might have demanded, perhaps, a setting 
just a trifle more pompous. 

But the Russians are simple people ; they are ignorant 
of the beautiful arrangement and the regulated majesty 
of our republican ceremonies. 

At eleven o'clock all was over, and I went to see 
Gutchkoff, who had given me an appointment at the 
Ministry of War, on Moika. Although this was not the 
reception hour, the ante-chamber of the Minister was 
full of generals, who had brought their reports. 

The former President of the Committee of the In- 
dustries of War is one of the conspicuous men of Russia. 
He represented in the Provisional Government the 
most moderate element and the most monarchical. 
Gutchkoff is a man of authority. And it is of authority 
that one has most need at the present hour. But was 
it possible for a member of the Provisional Government 
to give proof of authority ? Gutchkoff in a moment 
would inform me of his ideas on this point. 

He began by speaking to me of his visit to the Northern 
front, whence he had arrived the same morning. He 
was bound here to play the optimistic rdle necessarily 
imposed on a Minister of War. But M. Gutchkoff did 
me the honour, after the official interview, to speak to 
me, as man to man, of the actual situation. I am unable 
to reproduce in these pages, which I have sent all fresh 



to Paris to be printed, what the Minister did not intend 
for publication. 

" I left Petrograd," said he, "in a very pessimistic 
frame of mind. I return with more confidence, after 
having seen the situation with my own eyes. The 
empty revolutionary has arrived at the front and has 
undermined the discipline of the Army. The edifice 
slowly constructed by the old discipline is crumbling 
away. It must be established by a new order. It is 
impossible that, in this passage from the old and 
authoritative regime to the new and democratic state, 
some troubles should not arise. They have arisen, 
but I hope that they are tranquillized, and the rumours 
of grave disorders which have arisen are false. ... I 
think, besides, that what we have lost on one side, will 
be more than compensated by the enthusiasm which 
inspires the Army, and from which, God willing, we 
may expect much." 

" And about the deserters ? " I asked. " Have you 
many of them and what measures are being taken at 
the rear to send them back to the front ? " 

" The deserters," he replied, " are particularly 
numerous in the depots, in the rear and in the convoys. 
All the measures to send them back to the front are 
taken. Moreover, the soldiers themselves, furious 
against their comrades who are leaving their posts, have 
organized a very severe police to stop them. I have 
established disciplinary committees, and you will be 
surprised to learn that, in several cases, the penalties 
which they have fixed are more rigorous than those of 
the old code." 

And the Minister handed me a telegram received that 
morning from Reval, which showed, in fact, that the 
sailors had drafted a rather severe code. 

** As for the officers," continued the Minister, " the 



Revolution has put an end to the regime of favour under 
which we were living and which was encumbering the 
high commands with generals indifferent and even 
worthless, who happened to stand well at Court. I 
have already retired several of them, and the weeding 
out process is going to continue. We have, in the corps 
of officers, young and intelligent forces which will in the 
end find the possibility of showing of what they are 
capable. Now, between the officers there will reign a 
healthy emulation, which will produce great results. 
In this year of war, which I trust will be the last, we 
must place all our trump cards on the table. The 
Russian Army will be better commanded than it has 
ever been before." 

18-31 March. 

THIS morning, the bread failed. Although she waited 
in a queue for four hours in the snow, which was 
falling in great flakes, my cook returned with empty 
hands, despairing, and on the verge of tears. 

When I went out, I saw immense queues at the doors of 
the bakehouses. On the front of many of them was 
posted up : " No bread ! " 

If bread did not arrive, what would become of us ? How 
long would the people, the patient Russian people, give 
credit to the new Government, if it did not give them 
bread ? 

That evening, the newspapers announced that we were 
going to have white bread. But while we were waiting 
for the promised roll, there was no black bread to be had. 

At the Duma, where I went, the regiments which had 
come there to be harangued continued to inarch past. 
The Regiment of the Guard called the Moscow Regiment, 
blocked Tauris Street, through which I passed to 
arrive at the Deputies' Entrance. The soldiers made 



way for me to pass. Not a word of any sort was 
raised against my hired sledge and its enormous coach- 
man, all puffed out with importance, as became a coach- 
man of high degree. They were still more complacent ; 
for when the sledge stuck in the tramway lines, four tall 
soldiers came up, picked up the sledge, lifted us gently 
and placed it on the snow. These people are good and 
simple. Not a shadow of jealousy, of envy, amongst 
them. I saw there also a regiment formed from the 
crews of the Fleet, which was awaiting its turn to enter 
the promised land, the Tauris Palace. 

I had ample leisure to look at the placards which the 
soldiers and sailors were carrying through the town. 
Only a week ago, the following inscriptions dominated : 
" Long live the Democratic Republic ; Land and Liberty ; 
Long live the Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Dele- 
gates." These placards had not disappeared, but I 
saw with pleasure a great number on which I read : 
" Be united ; " " Have confidence in the Provisional 
Government and the Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' 
Delegates ; " " Workmen, work for the defence of the 
Nation ; " " Do not forget our brothers in the trenches ; " 
" War until final Victory is achieved," and this one, 
which, in a lapidary form, gave the programme necessary 
at the present hour : " Workmen, to the factories ; 
soldiers, to the front." God grant it ! as the Russians 

Yesterday, as I was skirting the court of the immense 
Preobrajensky Barracks, the soldiers were drilling under 
the command of non-commissioned officers ; and, suddenly, 
I heard the thunderous voice of the drill-sergeant. 
I cannot describe the wave of joy which swept over 
me on hearing this worthy non-commissioned officer 
speaking in the old, sonorous terms of the barracks 



to an awkward soldier. And I said to myself : " All is 
not dead." 

The Independence of Poland was announced by the 
Government a Poland united, free, mistress of herself 
and of her destiny. 

The Poles to whom I telephoned were in the seventh 
heaven. Nevertheless, let me make one observation : 
Industrial Poland, which is rich, great, and strong, only 
lives by the Russian market. 

From Lodz, the manufacturers have an open market 
for a distance of quite 9,000 miles. Once Poland 
becomes a kingdom or an independent republic, the 
Russians will raise up a barrier of custom-houses on the 
frontier. The manufacturers of Moscow will say : "At 
last, we are able to defend ourselves against the Poles. 
Let us protect Russian industry." An industrial Poland, 
furnished with the means of working for 150,000,000 
customers and forthwith reduced to a market of 15,000,000, 
will be ruined. 

20 March-2 April. 

FOR half the day, troops marched through the streets, 
always carrying their different placards. But, already, 
the effects of the anarchy existing in the barracks were 
visible. The soldiers, those magnificent soldiers, whom 
formerly one could not help admiring, and whose marching 
gave one the impression of a powerful and disciplined 
force, slouched now in a slovenly and careless manner, 
in bad order, without keeping the time which had been 
taught them so carefully. For a month past, they had 
done no work ; military exercises were not intended for 
citizen-soldiers. These troops, are they no longer fitted 
but for indifferent parades, with placards and big drum, 
through the streets of the capital ? People ended by 
regarding with disgust these interminable promenades 

1 06 


by the troops who exhibited themselves before the people 
of Petrograd. 

When they were not making processions through the 
streets, the soldiers lounged about the town ; not know- 
ing how to kill time, they treated themselves to " joy- 
rides " in the tram-cars, in those Petrograd tram-cars 
which were already insufficient to assure the circulation 
of the inhabitants of the capital. Before the Revolu- 
tion, they were obliged to have a militia of 5,000 or 6,000 
soldiers to police the tramways, in order to prevent the 
soldiers from getting into the cars. The Revolution 
had abolished these out-of-date prohibitions, and had 
given the soldier-citizens the free run of all the lines. 
The soldiers, besides, took possession of the cars as though 
they belonged to them, and the common people and the 
middle-classes had to go on foot. 

The position of officers at Petrograd was horrible. 
The soldiers did not obey them. They addressed their 
officers as " thee " and " thou " and insisted on being 
addressed themselves in the second person plural. There 
was no longer any military training, and the soldiers 
stayed out all night whenever they pleased. I have seen 
twenty-five officers who spoke to me to the same effect. 
A Colonel of the Guards made this observation : 

" At the front, the situation is still good. But what 
will it be to-morrow ? " 

21 March-3 April 

NEVER had the queues at the doors of the bakers' shops 
been longer. It was a heartrending spectacle to see 
these hundreds and hundreds of persons, old men, women 
and children, standing in the snow, which was falling in 
great flakes. The soldiers had the right of priority ; and 
nothing irritated the people more than to see the soldiers, 
who were fed at the barracks, stepping in front of a hundred 



or two hundred persons who had been standing in queue 
for four hours and taking the bread that was left. I was 
assured that, in Gagarinskaia, there had been brawls in 
consequence, and that a soldier had fired. 

Among the women of the people, one heard words, after 
all unjust, of this kind : 

" Ah ! when we had the Tsar, he did not allow us to 
want for anything." 

The Government made an appeal asking the people not 
to take more than was absolutely necessary for them, 
giving as a reason the extreme difficulty of revictualling 

Bread cards were issued. One livre a day for each 
person. Those who were doing manual work were to 
have one and three-quarter limes. The distribution 
was to begin on 24 March-6 April. 

22 March-4> April. 

THE Government was granting everything which was 
asked of it. 

" We want a Poland, free, united, intact," say the 

" You shall have a Poland, free, united, intact," answers 
the Government. 

The women say : 

" We want the right to vote." 

" You shall have the right to vote." 

The different races are agitating : 

" Equality of all races, of all religions, every one's 
right of admission to all offices, abolition of all restric- 

And the Government replies : 

" We are decided on equality," etc., etc. 

In the dawn of liberty, the Government refuses nothing. 
All desires are crowned, all prayers receive a favour- 



able hearing. Ask for the moon, it will give it you by 
decree ; but I am inclined to think that the Government 
knows very well what it is doing. It understands the 
Russian mind, which requires fine promises. And, in 
reality, what does it give it ? Lavish promises, and, 
meanwhile, time passes, and it will be the duty of the 
Constituent Assembly to put all this in order ; to see what 
is at once realizable and what is not ; what is chimerical 
and what is reasonable. The vote for women for the 
Constituent Assembly will postpone the elections from 
three to six months at least. Already, election by the 
votes of men alone appears impossible before at least six 
months ; we shall pass thus, from material impossibility 
to material impossibility, to postponing the elections until 
after the War. That is the only reasonable solution. 

The question of the vote for the Army had demon- 
strated clearly the absurdity of the thesis sustained by 
the Council, which wanted immediate elections and de- 
manded, at the same time, that the Army should take part 
in the voting. This voting by the Army was a rather 
farcical thing. It was evident that a division or a corps 
could not nominate a deputy. The soldiers, in three 
years, change, and one might ask who the deputy chosen 
by the elector-soldier would find himself representing. 
On the other hand, they could not send for the elections 
six or eight million soldiers to their homes. They must 
vote by correspondence ; but here again the difficulties 
were clear. In an electoral division, the candidates must 
have a list and the address of all the soldier-electors 
scattered along the entire front. The letters, in many 
cases, would go to the depdts ; how many would be lost 
before reaching the hands of the elector-soldier ? Finally, 
each candidate would send his programme to each elector. 
Assuming that there were three candidates for each 
constituency and eight million soldiers, twenty-four 



million envelopes would be despatched and would arrive, 
or would not arrive, at their destinations. The soldier 
would receive, besides, Ms voting-paper here we reach 
to thirty-two million envelopes. He would send it back 
on the appointed day, under a double envelope ; forty- 
eight millions. But this is a vast country ; a peasant 
from Kharbine, in Manchuria, might be stationed at 
Galatz. How many weeks or months would be required 
for him to receive the candidates' programmes and the 
voting-paper, and to return the latter ? ... At last, it 
would be finished ; but there is the second ballot ; and 
all would have to begin over again, and the correspondence 
be resumed between Kharbine-Galatz and Galatz-Khar- 
bine. The War would be over before the correspondence 
was all sifted. 

To all these difficulties, the Government, by a stroke 
of the pen, added that, more formidable still, of the 
vote for women. There was no electoral list of the 
illiterate women ; and the Kalmuck, Turcoman, 
Khirgize and Tartar ladies were all demanding their 
voting-papers. There would be 120,000,000 electors, 
both male and female. 

The elections, then, appeared to me likely to be 
postponed to the Greek Kalends. In Russia, as in France, 
the provisional is made to last. Let us admit that 
the Government was skilfully playing a pretty game. 
It was powerless against the extreme parties. And so, 
it accorded them all that they demanded. Their con- 
tradictory exigencies would inevitably bring about a 
prolongation of the status quo ; and the Government, 
confronted with this impossible situation, would be 
able to do very much as it wished, without ever coming 
into collision with the redoubtable Caliban. 

Yes ; but, at Petrograd, the situation, so far from 
showing any improvement, was growing worse. I 



wished to have precise information respecting the 
constitution and the functions of the famous Council 
of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates. Nothing was 
more difficult, as the members of the Executive Com- 
mittee were but little desirous of affording enlighten- 
ment on the subject, and for a long time were unwilling 
to give even the names of the members of the Executive 
Committee. This is what I knew with some degree of 
certainty : 

The number of delegates was increasing every day. 
Why ? That was still unexplained. But, any way, 
there were at present three thousand of them ; of whom 
two-thirds were soldiers. This amorphous and chaotic 
mass set its face against every attempt to organize it. 
And how was it possible to manoeuvre three thousand 
delegates ? The Executive Committee formed a plan. 
The three thousand delegates were to nominate a little 
council of five hundred members, to which the Com- 
mittee would refer matters and which would discuss 
and vote upon them. But the delegates saw that 
2,500 among them would sit no more. Why should 
they allow that ? Why should Russia pass out of their 
hands ? They rejected the Committee's plan. They 
were the masters, and they intended to remain so. 

I had the impression that already the Executive 
Committee was no longer listened to, and that it was 
impotent. The anarchical tendencies of the mass of 
the workmen were too much for it. Every one wanted 
to play an important part ; no one considered it con- 
sistent with the dignity of an intelligent citizen to follow 
a leader, even an elected one. In every factory, the 
workmen wanted to be the masters. In vain, the Com- 
mittee multiplied appeals. I noticed several of them. 
It recalled the workmen to their labour ; it spoke of 
national defence ; it declared that, without order, they 



were on the road to ruin ; that the time for demon- 
strations was passed. Vain objurgations ! The work- 
man did only what he wished ; and the Committee was 
already no more than a head without body. To-morrow, 
it would be as bourgeois as the Government. Mean- 
time; several factories had decided to close down, and 
some thousands of workmen would be out of employment. 

And the War ? The Army of the South- West had 
yesterday sustained a check, with heavy losses. But 
among the soldiers and workmen of Petrograd, who 
read the communiques ? An English officer observed 
irritably : 

" At the rate at which we are going, you and our- 
selves, in France I see us pretty well conquering Ger- 
many. But Germany will take Russia, and we shall 
sign peace." 

23 March-5 April. 

TO-DAY was the first holiday of free Russia. The solemn 
interment of the victims of the Revolution took place 
on the Champ de Mars. Government and Executive 
Committee of the Council had taken extraordinary 
precautions to avert disturbances, for it was supposed 
that nearly a million persons would assist at the obsequies. 
I was now living in Aptekarski Pereoulok, in an immense 
house which possessed a court in common with the 
house bearing the number 5 of the Champ de Mars, 
and which was let to the famous banker, Rubinstein, 
imprisoned at Pskoff by the Old Regime, and whom the 
Revolution, when it threw open the prisons, had set 
at liberty. But he did not live at Petrograd, of which 
he found, momentarily, the climate unhealthy. Since 
yesterday evening, the soldiers guarded the grand stair- 
case and the servants' staircase of the house, to prevent 
provocateurs from mounting on to the roofs and firing 
into the crowd. 
i 112 

Botkine with two delegates from the Black Sea Fleet. 


[To face p. 113. 


Towards 11 a.m., I insinuated myself by the ser- 
vants' staircase to the door of M. Rubinstein's apart- 
ment, and rang the bell. There were only servants 
there. I gave my name, and explained who I was ; 
and a tall fellow, with a partially-shaved face, intro- 
duced me into a beautiful salon looking out on to the 
Champ de Mars, exactly facing the spot prepared for 
the victims. 

And this was what I saw : 

The Champ de Mars was empty ; an immense expanse 
white with snow. Opposite, were the trees of the 
Summer Garden, with their black and lank branches ; 
overhead, a grey sky, full of clouds heavy with rain. 
In the middle of the Champ de Mars was a great yellow 
stain ; it was the earth which had been removed for 
the graves, a spot surrounded by ropes. Black and 
white flags, on the top of masts, were waving in the 
wind ; great red placards with inscriptions decorated 
the circumference of the reserved space. 

Few civilians were there ; a hundred at the most. 
But there were some hundreds of soldiers, and an un- 
broken double line of soldiers stretched along the entire 
length of the Champ de Mars, from the entrance, which 
is opposite the bridge over the Sadovaia, at the egress 
from Suvarof Square, to the end of the Troitsky 
Bridge. The processions arrived by the Sadovaia, 
marched past without halting, laid down their dead, 
and left by Suvarof Square, traversing thus diagonally 
the long place white beneath the snow, which was 
beginning to melt. 

The processions were formed of the whole people of 
Petrograd. They marched in perfect order, in double 
rows of eight persons, sixteen in depth and about twenty- 
five files in length. 

Each group was commanded by a chief, who carried 

113 8 


a white flag. When the flag was lowered, the group came 
to a halt. Between the groups, there was an interval 
of thirty paces. Innumerable red banners floated in 
the wind, with the most varied inscriptions in honour 
of the dead, of liberty, of the democratic Republic, etc., 
etc. The composition of these groups differed widely. 
Here were the pupils of a school ; there students ; in 
another group were militiamen, with white brassards on 
their arms and rifles on their shoulders ; in a fourth, 
bourgeois, but these were not very numerous ; in a fifth, 
soldiers. But the innumerable crowd were the work- 
men, the proletariat, and the working-women. The 
latter passed by wearing woollen scarves round their 
heads, according to the fashion of the women of the 
people. Workmen and working-women marched with 
a slow, heavy step, but in good order, keeping their 
ranks well, disciplined, obedient to the signal of their 
leaders. At intervals, they chanted a plaintive song, 
which was unfamiliar to me, without expression, without 
rhythm, without power. Military bands played the 
Marseillaise. From where I was I did not see the 
coffins, which could not have been very numerous. 
An officer told me that the place had been prepared for 
a hundred and sixty coffins. The tide of demonstrators 
flowed on endlessly, with brief halts, from one corner 
of the Champ de Mars to the other, and their silhouettes, 
black and melancholy, were thrown upon the whiteness 
of the snow. The tide had begun towards ten o'clock 
in the morning. During the whole afternoon, it con- 
tinued to roll on between the two hedges of soldiers ; 
the banners making red stains, from place to place. 
Evening came, and the processions were still marching 
past ; the Marseillaise was still being played ; the 
cannon of Peter and Paul was still booming. And, 
until night fell, the people of Petrograd passed by, with 



/inked arms, in serried groups, which disappeared into 
the gloom, across the great empty square. 

The houses of Petrograd are guarded, kept clean, and 
managed by an army of men. At each entrance door 
there is a porter ; in the court are four or five dvorniks, 
who look after the carriage-entrance, carry up the wood, 
remove the snow, and sweep the pavements and the 
staircases. Above them all, the head dvornik presides 
over the republic of porters and dvorniks, and up till 
now had represented the police in the house, of which 
he kept for it the tenants' book, and through whom one 
was obliged to pass for the thousand and one little 
formalities of administrative life. These humble ser- 
vants judged that they ought to profit by the benefits 
of the Revolution. They went in a body to the Duma, 
and obtained from it permission to be in the future no 
longer dvorniks. They would perform, it is true, the 
same service, but the superior would be " Steward of 
the house ; " the dvorniks, the " Assistants." The 
porters alone remained porters. 

24 March-Q April. 

I WENT to see Bourtzeff. We know the recent history 
of this patriotic revolutionary, who, a refugee in France, 
at the moment when the War broke out, issued an 
eloquent summons to his brother Socialists to rally to 
the defence of the country and to the War against 
Germany. He did better : he demanded authorization 
to return to his country to join the Army, although his 
hair was white and age weighed heavily on his shoulders. 
Tacitly, at least, he obtained what he demanded and 
arrived in Russia. But scarcely had he disembarked 
at Petrograd, than the imbecile Government of the 
Emperor caused him to be arrested. He was shut up 

H5 8* 


in the fortress of Peter and Paul, and afterwards sent 
to Siberia ; but for a year past he had had permission 
to live at Petrograd. 

I found him in an hotel near the Nicholas Railway 
Station. He is a little man, thin and short-sighted, 
with a scanty pointed beard and white hair. He was 
in the seventh heaven ; he swam in happiness ; he had, 
at last, the Russia of which he had dreamed. Never- 
theless, he was under no illusion as to the state of mind 
in the Socialist circles of Petrograd ; he saw, like myself, 
the soldiers disbanded and the workmen in a condition 
of anarchy. But he was persuaded I should have 
liked to believe it that, at the front, the condition of 
the troops was admirable and that they were going to 
fly to victory. 

" At Petrograd," he said, " we must work for the 
War, for discipline. But you will see, you will see, all 
will come right. ..." 

He gave me articles wkich he had written on the 
necessity of continuing the war and of beating the 
Germans. But Bourtzeff was an isolated man ; his 
sphere of influence was very limited ; he did not belong 
to any political party. 

For the moment, he was ransacking the suggestive 
archives of the " Okhrana." Each day revealed the 
name of an agent provocateur among the revolutionaries, 
the students, the advanced journalists. 

There would have been there, for a Minister adroit 
and knowing how to manoeuvre, a means of governing. 
But had we, among the worthy men of the Provisional 
Government, a skilful politician, who knew men and 
understood how to play with them ? . . . 




26 March-8 April. 

THE political situation was once more extremely strained. 
For four or five days, the crisis had been acute. A 
rupture between the Government and the Executive 
Committee was to be feared at any moment, and, if 
there were a rupture, this would be to the advantage of 
the Committee, which had the bayonets of Petrograd on 
its side. I had it from a member of the Government 
that the exactions of the Committee were becoming 
intolerable. He told me that the Government ought 
to decide without delay questions of extreme urgency, 
but that the Committee did not leave it a free hand. 
The pressure exercised by the Committee increased 
each day. 

The acute point of the present crisis was the 
following : 

The Committee wished the Government to make an 
immediate declaration concerning the aims of the War : 
" No annexations, no indemnities." A few days ago 
Miliukoff had said, at a public meeting, that democratic 
Russia had, on the whole, the same war aims as Im- 
perialist Russia. Kerensky, who was present, sent a 
letter to the Press declaring that Miliukoff had expressed 
his personal opinion only. The Committee, seeing the 
dissension in the bosom of the Government, judged that 
the ground was favourable to deliver an attack. More- 
over, and above all, the Committee had found an ex- 
cellent occasion to explain the views of democratic 
Russia on the War. It had assumed a negative formula : 
" No annexations, no indemnities." That, while await- 
ing something better. Thus, it was necessary to renounce 



the liberation of Poland ; it was necessary to renounce 
Constantinople and the Straits Constantinople, which 
herself alone would pay for all the sacrifices consented to 
in the course of this war, for the innumerable lives mown 
down on the battle-fields. Access to the open sea, which 
had been the dream of Russia for two hundred years ! 

The Government resisted, but it was going to yield ; 
that was certain. I did not give it three days. Then, 
once this declaration had been snatched from it, what 
reason was there for continuing the War ? What was 
the object of the War ? Poland ? She had already 
ceased to belong to Russia. Lithuania ? She would 
also demand her autonomy, as would Courland, as would 
Esthonia, as would Ukraine. What reason was there 
now to shed the blood of a single Russian soldier ? The 
Committee thought only of peace Peace ? How to 
obtain it and at what price ? These ingenuous persons 
imagined that it would be sufficient to address them- 
selves to their brother Germans for the latter imme- 
diately to make, following their example, a Revolution, 
and lay down their arms. They had sent an appeal 
to Berlin, and were awaiting the answer. Meanwhile, 
they lived in their dreams. 

And, as they foresaw negotiations, the necessity of 
maintaining permanent contact with the comrades 
beyond the Vistula, they imagined the following plan, 
which has only to be explained for its Machiavellism 
and danger to be understood. The organ of the Com- 
mittee, the News oj the Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' 
Delegates, ingenuously informed us, three days ago, that 
the Committee had decided to found a " Section of 
International Relations " and to organize an agency at 
Stockholm. This agency would be, in appearance, an 
agency of information, but, in fact, this, according to 
the Nezvs, was how it would operate : 



The Committee of Petrograd would continually 
transmit to it news about the organization and policy 
of the party. The Committee would arrange that 
letters and telegrams should pass through the agency, 
without being submitted to the ordinary censorship. 
The Stockholm agency would have the same privilege 
for communicating with the party at Petrograd. 
Besides, delegates would move freely between Petrograd 
and Stockholm, and their letters would no longer be 
submitted to the censorship. Finally, it was evident, 
but they did not say so, that the party would install, at 
the Stockholm agency, delegates charged to converse 
with the comrades of all countries, but particularly with 
the delegates whom Germany would not fail to send. 

Such would be the functions of the Stockholm agency. 
One can imagine in what sense would work the Section 
of the International Relations of the Council, which wished 
thus to have its diplomatic personnel and to put into 
practice its views on foreign policy. 

This was the last grand idea of the Committee. 
Comment is unnecessary, and I shall make none. 


I SAW Branting, the chief of the Swedish Socialist party, 
who had come to spend a few days at Petrograd. He 
had received me at Stockholm, at the time of my last 
stay in that town. 

He told me, that, since the Russian Revolution, Sweden 
was freed from the fear of seeing herself one day attacked 
by Russia, and that thus a great step had been made 
towards the establishment of friendly relations between 
the two countries ; that, besides, the fall of the 
Hammerskiold Cabinet had destroyed the last chances 



of a more complete entente between Sweden and 

I questioned him about the Russian Revolution. 

He had expressed plainly his views to the Socialists 
of the Committee, and assured them that it was vain 
to expect any result from their appeal to the German 
Socialists, and that their hope of witnessing a revolution 
in Germany was altogether chimerical. 

He viewed the situation here with optimism, although 
he was aware of the possible dangers. 

" The Socialists," said he to me, " are, for the moment, 
intoxicated by their easy victory. For the time being, 
they are in power ; but they have only a very limited 
political experience ; they believe that all Russia feels 
and reasons in the same way as do the working classes 
of Petrograd. There will be excesses, but I think that 
the reasonable elements will prevail ; that all the new 
forces will remain united, and that a rupture between 
the Government and the Council will be avoided." 


ON the revictualling question, I learned at the Ministry 
of Agriculture that the situation gave rise to grave 
anxieties. As Chingaref had told the Duma, the 
month of April would be difficult. The thaw was coming 
to complicate an already bad situation. The roads, 
throughout all Central Russia, would be impracticable 
for several weeks. It would be impossible to transport 
corn and flour to the railway stations. The revictualling 
of Petrograd would be diminished. That of the Army 
would be worse assured still. 

I saw, besides, in my own household, that there was 
hardly any bread to be had. JVfy ingenious Nastia, who 



had more than one trick in her bag, went to the neigh- 
bouring barracks and wept bitterly, telling the soldiers 
that she had ten children and was unable to feed them. 
Finally, she returned, triumphant, with an immense 
loaf of black bread, for which she had paid sixty kopecks. 

28 March-10 April. 

THE Government had not long resisted the pressure of 
the Committee. It published to-day an appeal to the 
citizens, in which it declared plainly that free Russia 
renounced all conquest and would make no annexations. 
The word " No indemnities " was not pronounced. 

The Committee had triumphed. It was said long 
ago that each State has the foreign policy of which 
it is capable. If it is strong, it has a strong foreign 
policy. Russia felt her weakness. She had the only 
foreign policy which was suitable for a weak State that 
of renunciation. 


28 March-10 April. 

AT the Tauris Palace, the great Salle Catherine re- 
sounded with the notes of the Marseillaise, which a 
military band was playing. Then, Skobelef, a blonde, 
fiery young man, member of the Executive Committee, 
harangued a multitude of soldiers assembled there. 

I fled and made my way to Committee Room 15, 
where the all-powerful Executive Committee was 
sitting. Soldiers guarded the entrance to it. I 
succeeded, all the same, in passing into the ante-chamber 
which preceded the Hall of the Committee. It is a very 
small room, semi-circular in shape, with a low ceiling, and 
used to form part of the private apartments of the palace. 



The walls, painted in Pompeian style, are divided into 
panels, the borders of which are decorated with flowers. 
There was a large table, on which a huge soldiers' pot 
was still standing, emptied of the chtchi upon which the 
members of the Committee had just been regaling them- 
selves. A very old woman- student, bare-headed, was 
cutting slices of black bread, which were passed into the 
adjoining chamber. Tea was also brought in great copper 
urns. A comrade man-student was on duty. He took 
the names of the people who came and sent them in to the 
members of the Committee. No one else might enter 
that room, except persons who had papers to be signed. 

People were passing incessantly. The members of the 
Committee came and went. There were more than 
twenty within, assembled, the man-student told me, 
to discuss the gravest of questions. They had begun 
yesterday ; they continued to-day. And their delibera- 
tions threatened to last. The man-student finished by 
telling me what the question was which interested them 
so profoundly. It was nothing less than the question of 
war or peace. 

Through the half-open door some snatches of the con- 
versation reached me : 

" This war is not our war ; it is a legacy from Tsarism, 
which we ought not to accept. Why should we fight, 
besides, for the English and French Imperialists ? . . . " 

The door was shut. If the members of the Committee 
triumphed, there would be nothing for us but to pack up 
and go. 

I waited a long time. The advocate Stiekloff, whom I 
had to see, sent word to me that he could not leave the 
discussion, of so serious a nature was it. I had no diffi- 
culty in believing him. 

I waited, all the same, for the spectacle was curious. 
I watched the members of the Committee who passed and 



repassed, in a fever of excitement. There were some who 
were too bald ; there were others whose hair badly re- 
quired trimming. Always extremes ! There were old 
men among them ; there were young men. They were 
all equally convinced of their importance. I did not see 
any smiles. Russian good-nature, to which I was 
accustomed, appeared to me absent from this little hall, 
whither the delegates came to exchange a few words with 
those who had to see them. These men believed that, 
in this little low chamber of antique style who knows ? 
perhaps it was once the bedchamber of Potemkin 
they were deciding the fate of the world, and that 
humanity was awaiting the new direction towards which 
they were going to guide her. They were about to pro- 
nounce on war and peace. Alas ! I felt too much the 
irreparable evil which these idealists, intoxicated by 
their chimeras, were able to do us, to us and to all those 
who had been fighting by our side for three years ! 


THE atmosphere was heavy in that little chamber. On a 
table stood the telephone, whose bell was ringing every 
moment. A thick-set and merry soldier, with a sun- 
burnt face, in which shone two rows of teeth white as 
milk, was answering the telephone. It was the first time 
in his life that he had used the telephone, and this novelty 
at once delighted and tormented him. He was perspiring 
with his exertions, and wiping his forehead with the back 
of his coat-sleeve. Our soldier was a Georgian, and, to 
add to the comedy of the scene, spoke Russian very badly. 
Then ensued a dialogue of this kind : 
" I am listening." 



" The delegate Serebrenikoff ? The delegate ? . . ." 

He turned towards the people who were there, laughing. 

" The delegate ! The delegate ! What a comical 
word ! Every time I go to the telephone, I learn some 
new word. . . . Have you got delegates here, comrade 
Anton ? " he asked the student, who was called Antonoff. 

He took up the mouthpiece of the telephone, which he 
had laid down. 

" Ah ! Miss, are you listening ? What name 
did you speak, comrade, into the telephone ? . . . 
Serebenikous ! " 

Then he turned to those around. 

" Is there a Serebenikous among us ? " 

Then, without waiting for an answer, he said boldly : 

" No, comrade. Thanks be to God, we have not this 

Sereb. . . . What do you say ? ... In short, this 

delegate. You wish to give your telephone number ? 

. . . Good, don't trouble yourself . . . Yes, yes, I am 

going to make a note of it." 

He winked his eye, with a malicious air. 

" I am writing it down." He had neither pencil nor 

paper, and could not keep himself from bursting out 

laughing. " 177-42. . . . Right, comrade, good-bye ; 

the delegate will telephone you. Be easy, Miss 


And he hung up the telephone triumphantly. 

" Now," said he, " I have only to forget the number 
which was given me. Happily, it is more easy to forget it 
than to remember it ! ... 160-22 . . . 122-70 . . . 
124-17. Ah ! I know some of the telephone numbers. 
It will be one of those . . . but which ? Bah ! ... At 
the end of the telephone, whatever number one asks for, 
there will always be some one." 




30 March-12 April. 

I WENT to find to-day the " Grandmother of the Revolu- 
tion," Brechko-Brechkovskaia, who had arrived yesterday 
from Siberia, had been received with great pomp at the 
Duma, and had been carried in triumph by Kerensky and 
some other deputies. This old woman, who is over 
seventy years old, had begun while still young her life of 
devotion to the people. In the years 1860-70, she had 
followed the great movement which had brought so many 
intellectuals to " the people." Of excellent family, she 
had dressed in peasant costume and had gone from village 
to village. Tracked down by the police, the peasants, 
who loved her, concealed her ; but she was captured at 
last. Her fate was a cruel one. Five years in the fortress 
of Peter and Paul, then, forced labour in Siberia. When 
she was over seventy the Revolution delivered her, and 
she returned from Minoussinsk, cheered all along the 
route. Now she was able to exclaim, like old Simeon : 
" Et nunc, dimittis tuum servum, Domine ! " 

On the way, she had stopped ; everywhere she spoke, 
and the things she said were wise : that the Russian 
democracy was not ready to rule Russia, that it was neces- 
sary to work hard. She said also that, while the War 
lasted, they ought to think only of the War, and that they 
should have no other aim but the overthrow of William. 
In consequence of a telegram from Paris, I went to find 
her to-day, to ask for her story, on behalf of our 

I looked for her, but I did not find her. At the Duma, 
where I went, no one whom I questioned knew her 
address. Fifty letters were waiting for her, and a para- 



graph in a journal said that Kerensky, to save the old lady 
useless fatigue, had given orders to keep her address 
secret and was sheltering her from importunate people. 

By a happy chance, I went to the Ministry of Justice, 
and to the Minister's apartment. When I arrived in an 
ante-chamber, an usher said to me : 

" The babouchka is there." And he took my card to her. 

And I found myself in a vast room, where the babouchka 
was seated with two young women. She came to me and 
greeted me in French, which she spoke with a perfect 

She is a rather short woman and somewhat strongly 
built, with a plain face, blue eyes, and thin white hair. 
She wore a red scarf knotted round her neck. 

I cannot describe with what respect this old woman 
inspired me, by the total forgetfulness of self which was 
visible on her face, where dignity, honesty, simplicity, 
and, above all, an extreme kindness shone and formed for 
her as it were an aureole. 

I asked her if she were writing her reminiscences, and 
she answered : 

" At Peter and Paul I wrote much, but they used to see 
all that I was writing. They took away my notes and 
kept them. Perhaps I shall find them again In Siberia, 
I lived with admirable women who were condemned like 
myself. Their character, the sanctity of their life, moved 
me profoundly. I wished that people knew who they 
were. Russian children must learn to know them. They 
are dead, for they were unable to endure experiences so 
cruel ... I have written their lives to save these splendid 
souls from oblivion. I intend to publish these pages so 
soon as they reach me, for I was obliged to conceal them 
in Siberia. When I have them, I will give them to you, 
in order that they may appear in France at the same time 
as here." 



I was going to leave her, for friends had come to see her, 
when she added : 

" If you are writing to Paris, tell them very plainly 
that I respect the French ; they are great patriots." 

30 March-12 April. 

IN the little ante-chamber which preceded the room where 
the Executive Committee was assembled, and where I 
had waited so long, I ended by putting my hand on one 
of the members of the Committee. Several had refused 
me an interview, but Gvosdef consented to give me a 
few minutes' conversation. He is the chief of the fifteen 
Workmen of the Central Committee for the Industries of 
War who were arrested, so foolishly, by the order of Pro- 
topopof, five or six weeks before the Revolution. The 
soldiers, forcing open the doors of the prison of the 
Schpalernaia, liberated them on Monday, 27 February- 
12 March. The following were the questions which I 
put to him on the composition and the working of the 
Council of Workmen and Soldiers, which had played, 
since the first day of the Revolution, a continually in- 
creasing part in the development of Russian political life : 

Q. How many deputies do you count to-day ? 

A. More than three thousand. The great majority 

Q. How are they elected ? 

A. One workman out of every thousand, or by a 
little factory numbering under a thousand work- 
men. One soldier by each company or group. 

Q. The Council is not exclusively nominated by 
Petrograd, for are there not two thousand different 
companies or groups in the garrison ? 

A. We have deputies from many points of the front. 


Q. From anywhere, at random ? 

A. Yes. 

Q. How were they chosen ? Why some and not 
others ? 

A. There was no rule ; it was done at haphazard. 
Now, along all the front local companies are being 
organized, and we do not take any more delegates. 

Q. How are you able to handle so enormous an 
assembly ? Three thousand persons ; that appears 
to me to render the work of the assembly impossible. 
Where can you find a hall large enough to 
accommodate them ? 

A. We assemble in the auditorium of a theatre. 
We shall have a meeting at the Narodny Dome 
(the People's House). 

Q. In short, full assemblies are, for this reason, 
rare, and thus the Executive Committee appears 
to me to possess a power much more active, much 
more autocratic. Have you not thought of 
making these three thousand delegates nominate 
a small committee, with which discussions would 
be possible ? 

A. We have here local assemblies. Thus, the 
delegates of the Viborg quarter form a council 
which votes and transmits to us its resolutions. 

Q. Yesterday's meeting of the delegates of the 
Provincial Councils passed off quietly ? 

A. There was a warm discussion, as is natural, 
but I am sure that the resolution proposed by the 
Executive Committee will be approved by a great 
majority. The Council of Petrograd, by the part 
which it has played in the Revolution, by the fact 
that Petrograd is the capital and the seat of the 
Government, is, in some way, a central organ and 
director for the whole of Russia. 


Q. Was divergence of opinion between the pro- 
vinces and Petrograd manifested, yesterday, at 
the meeting ? 

A. Not a shadow. 

Such are the precise points which I elucidated in my 
conversation with the Citizen Gvosdef . 

It followed from that that Petrograd enjoyed this rare 
privilege of nominating a soldier- delegate for 250 electors 
and a workman-delegate out of a thousand, or less than a 
thousand workmen ; while I had calculated that at the 
Constituent Assembly each deputy would be elected by 
about 300,000 electors. Next, that the Council of Petro- 
grad had been formed at random. Arbitrary and vague, 
it represented Petrograd and also some groups at the 
front. It was evident that three thousand delegates 
were unable either to meet frequently or to deliberate 
usefully. Full meetings would become more and more 
rare and without efficiency. More and more also would 
increase the role of the Executive Committee of 44 
members, which sat permanently, and which, any moment, 
was prepared to decide, by itself and without control, 
the policy of the party and to take resolutions of the 
utmost gravity. It appeared evident that it was not in 
the interest of the Committee to reform the Council and 
to arrive at the formation of a true deliberative assembly 
of delegates which, then, would demand that all important 
questions should be discussed before it. Thanks to the 
present constitution of the Council, the Committee 
became all-powerful, autocratic, and master of the policy 
of the party. And there, once more, was immense power 
without responsibility and almost without control. 

The views of the Committee on the War we had learned 
by the manifesto of the Provisional Government. For 
the member of the Committee (Tseretelli), charged to place 

129 9 


the resolution proposed by the Committee to the vote of 
the representatives of the Councils of the whole of Russia, 
had not allowed anyone to be ignorant that the Com- 
mittee had exercised a strong pressure on the Government 
to make it adopt, or, rather, to impose on it its ideas. 
The same reporter revealed that the Committee was 
actually pressing the Government to induce it to demand 
from the Governments of the Allies that they should 
rally to that famous formula fruit of the vigils and 
labours of whom ? of the Committee, executive 
and irresponsible, of the Council of Workmen's and 
Soldiers' Delegates of Petrograd, which owed its birth 
to the arbitrary circumstances which I have just explained. 
But it was a vigorous infant, and no one could doubt that 
it was its ambition to impose its views on both France 
and England. 

On the question of deserters, an evening newspaper 
printed figures which were very alarming. In the Lutzk 
area only, and in the week which had just passed alone, 
the total of deserters returning to the Army had been 
25,000. If 25,000 had returned, how many thousand of 
them had remained at home ? And if we extend the same 
figures to the rest of the front, we should arrive at this 
enormous total of 300,000 deserters, which I rejected when 
it was given me for the first time. 

An officer of the Army of Dvinsk, of whom I inquired 
in what condition the Army was, said to me : 

" Dvinsk is the reflection of Petrograd. When Petro- 
grad is agitated, we are not quiet. They must not send 
us any more agitators. The officers, unfortunately, are 
discouraged. They feel that their soldiers are escaping 

" Perhaps, by dint of patience and tact, they will 
be able to bring them back, for the soldier is not a bad 



fellow ; he has no bitter feeling, But one must confess 
that this task is bound to be difficult and repulsive. 
Very few officers have the courage to undertake it. He 
would have to be a saint to be equal to his duty here. 
An officer goes into the trenches in the evening. He per- 
ceives that a sentinel has left his post. He looks for him, 
and finds him about to drink tea with his comrades. 
The case is serious ; he ought to punish him. But the 
soldiers protect their comrade, and say to the officer : 
' Go and spend a few days at home, in the rear. That 
would be much better.' " 


Easter Eve. 

IT was spring weather, mild and pleasant. At four 
o'clock, I saw at my house some friends, Russians. A 
captain of the Cossacks of the Guard arrived from the 
front and said to me : 

" We have agitators in the Army, the delegates from 
the rear. They are propagating the new ideas. What 
my Cossacks understand about them, I do not know. 
They came to me and said : ' Your Nobility ' (they con- 
tinue to call me thus), ' for God's sake, deliver us from 
these agitators and send them back to the rear. They 
tell us stories from morning until the middle of the 
night. They weary us ; we cannot force ourselves to 
listen to them any more. Tell them to leave us in peace 
and go back home.' My soldiers have elected a com- 
mittee ; they are not bad fellows, but they don't obey 
any more, and we no longer risk giving them orders." 

I pressed him a little, and he ended by confiding to me 
in a low voice : 

" For us, the war is finished." 9* 


I repeat here, once more, that I do not pretend to abso- 
lute truths. At the time at which I write, who can read 
the future ? I give sincere impressions, and I give them 
here and now as I receive them. If the Russian 
Army be still capable of a great effort, no one would be 
more happy to be deceived than my brave captain of 

In this same cultured and intelligent circle they said 
to me : 

" What shall we do after the peace, Monsieur Anet ? 
Where shall we dare to show ourselves, we Russians, if 
we do not keep our engagements ? France will be for- 
bidden us, and England too. We shall be obliged to 
hide ourselves and to live in the shadow in the shame of 
having failed in honour. No, no ! that must not happen." 

In the evening, I went a walk round the churches. 
It was the greatest fete-day of Russia. The people visited 
the churches and assisted at the midnight service. I per- 
ceived that, before the Kazan Cathedral, there was not 
half the crowd that I saw there last year. Many had 
left, some for the provinces, some for foreign countries. 
And many were afraid, and remained shut up in their 

From a group of soldiers, a tall, jovial fellow detached 
himself and came up to me. In a blunt tone, he asked 
me for money, on the occasion of the fete. I remained 
dumbfounded, so surprising was the demand. What 
was I to do ? Finally, I drew 50 kopecks from my pocket 
and gave them to him. To refuse them would have 
been very imprudent. 

That was a rather significant little fact. New times ! 

30 March-12 April. 

YESTERDAY evening, the French and English Socialist 
Delegates and Plekhanof arrived. They were welcomed 



by the President of the Executive Committee and the 
representatives of parties. They came to endeavour to 
make their Russian comrades understand this evident 
truth, that there was no necessity more urgent than that 
of making war to the bitter end and of overthrowing Ger- 
many. Plekhanof would employ all his influence in the 
same sense. 

2-15 April (Easter Sunday). 

I SAW our delegates, Cachin, Moutet, Laf ont. They had 
been in Petrograd twenty-four hours and were already at 
work. They gave me the impression of a staff of very 
intelligent workmen, who had before them a difficult 
undertaking and sought means of setting about it. They 
are politicians, and the problem which now faced 
them was not at all simple. As yet they did not grasp 
all its complexities. But already they had formed their 
plans and hoped to be able to effect something. . . . 

They possessed the clear, precise minds of our race, 
the lively understanding of situations. Here, they were 
going to be confronted with minds skilful at the game of 
dialectic, but visionary, with dreamers infatuated and 
crafty, who clung to their ideas as a believer to the 
dogmas of his religion. And then, there were in this 
Committee elements doubtful, irreducible. . . . Among 
those who were of good faith, one idea dominated every 
other : that of peace, of the peace necessary to the 
Revolution. I was very much afraid that these same 
words covered, for them and for their Russian comrades, 
different realities. In short, they were going to fight on 
a moving terrain which would give way incessantly beneath 
their feet. 

Further, among the Russian Socialists, as, I well believe, 
among all the Russians, there is a vanity which yields 
to nothing. Before the Revolution, what obstacles had 



not our officer-specialists who came to make shells or give 
technical advice encountered in the official circles of the 
Army ? At the bottom of this resistance, is the clear 
idea : " What do these Frenchmen come to teach us ? 
Do we not know as much as they do ? " And the 
Socialists cherished the same sentiment. They said 
to each other : " We Russian Socialists are going 
to show the whole world how a Revolution is made. 
In reality, all the revolutions in the West have failed ; 
but we shall make a revolution such as one has never 
seen before, extraordinary, unheard-of, complete and 
final, a la russe, in a word. And we shall make the 
principles of Social Democracy reign throughout the 
whole world." 

And these dreamers imagined that the world had 
waited for them to realize the gospel according to Karl 

Our comrades were intelligent and enthusiastic at the 
work. We should see the result. To-day, they were 
received at the Executive Committee, where their recep- 
tion was rather cold ; afterwards, at the Congress of the 
Delegates of the Provincial Councils. There, they had 
an enthusiastic reception. In short, the scene was 
theatrical ; the democracies of three great countries 
extending the hand to each other. Moving spectacle ! 
How could a Russian resist it ? 

4-17 April. 

A FIRST bomb burst between the legs of our delegates. 
A group of Social-Democrats, refugees in Switzerland, 
published in the Politiken, of Stockholm, a sensational 
article, with an immense headline : " Grave accusations 
against the French Socialist delegates." The article was 
very clever. They were accused of wishing to stifle the 
Russian Revolution. Telegrams from Gucsde, telegram 



from the Unified Socialist Party, and so forth. The 
delegates had been sent to oblige Russia to continue the 
War ; they represented the interests of the French 
bourgeois parties, creditors of Russia ; they came to 
demand money. Besides, since the War, the French 
Socialist parties were defiled by imperialism ; they had 
entered into an alliance with the exploiters. Such was 
the theme of the article. It was obvious whom it would 
profit, and one was quite astonished not to read some 
German signatures beneath the names of the Russian 

This article had been written under the form of a letter 
to Tchkeidze, President of the Executive Committee. 
Tchkeidze had had the letter in his pocket yesterday, 
when our delegates had been received at the Executive 
Committee ; but he did not breathe a word about it. 

And that was one of the reasons one only of the cold- 
ness of the reception which had been given them. 

And, that same day, brought us another piece of news, 
not less disagreeable. The famous Social Democrat 
Lenin had arrived yesterday evening at Petrograd, from 
Switzerland, where he had been living. He is the reddest 
of the red. And what road had he and the comrades who 
escorted him taken to regain their fatherland, if I dare 
employ a word so denuded of sense in speaking of the 
place which had witnessed the birth of these Social 
Democrats ? They had passed across Germany, which, 
as one might expect, had opened her doors wide to this 
ill-omened company. Ah ! Germany had made no 
difficulty about allowing Lenin and his friends to 
pass. She knew what she was sending us, and the cause 
which these comrades would serve here. She would have 
no better allies than they. She introduced the enemy 
into the fortress. It was a skilful stroke of policy. 

But, surprising thing ! These men, returning from 



Germany, were very well received here. No one seemed 
disposed to seek a quarrel with them about the way of 
return that they had followed. I do not speak, that goes 
without saying, of the Extremists. But a Kerensky, a 
Minister, said : " It was difficult to prevent them from 
passing through Germany. We could scarcely object to 

that." But a certain V , member of the Council of the 

Empire, professor at the University, likewise was not 
shocked by that which disgusted us. In France, in default 
of men, if they had failed in their duty, the women would 
have cut in pieces these creatures without a country, 
returned from Germany ! Here there was no indignation. 
Was this people lacking in patriotism ? Must one end by 
believing the many Russians who, for years past, had not 
ceased to assure me that such was the case ? 

This Lenin is what one calls, in the horrible Socialist 
jargon, a " Defeatist," that is to say, one of those who 
prefer defeat to the War. He wanted peace, peace at 
any price, and without delay, and no matter what kind 
it might be. That was the thesis which he came to 
defend in the frightful confusion of the present hour in 

Well, Lenin and his acolytes had been received at the 
Finland Station with the same enthusiasm, and by the 
same delegates of the Committee, as had Plekhanof and 
the English and French Socialists. Affecting speeches 
were delivered, while to-day there were grand demon- 
strations in the streets, with red banners, and the citizen 
Lenin was delivering a speech in the Duma at the very 
time I was writing these lines. 

Our French and English Socialist friends were greatly 
disgusted. They began to understand in what amazing 
anarchy we were living here political anarchy, military 
anarchy, administrative and economic anarchy, which 
had, as its basis, the anarchy of minds. 


5-18 April. 

LEXIX did not triumph, yesterday evening, at the Congress 
of the different fractions of the Social Democratic Party. 
He said that the Government was detestable, that the 
Executive Committee was not good, that the Government 
must be thrown out and that the Social Democratic party 
ought to organize a Commune and assume power. Civil 
war and force ! " The English and French Socialist 
parties," said he, " are rotten with imperialism." He 
belonged to the Russian social democracy, superior to all 
others to try it was to adopt it to make the principles 
of communism reign over the world. Here only were 
men pure. The English and French Socialists were 
bourgeois. On the question of peace, he demanded it 
immediately and without conditions. Anything, rather 
than war. Russia besides owed autonomy to all the 
diverse peoples who composed her : autonomy to Georgia, 
to Armenia and Daghestan ? Turkestan, Poland, the 
Ukraine, Lithuania, Courland, Esthonia, Bessarabia, and 
I know not what else besides. Russia would be reduced 
to Grand Muscovy. That was the future which Lenin 
was preparing for his country. At home, no union 
between the Socialist fractions : " Down with concord. 
The struggle a outrance and the victory of the Extrem- 
ists ! " 

Lenin was badly received. This visionary, who 
preached war at home and peace with the enemy abroad, 
had succeeded to-day in bringing about unity against 

From Germany, came to us the last idea of the Govern- 
ment in response to the declaration of the Provisional 
Government on the aims of the War. With superlative 
cunning, Germany gave Russia to understand that she 



wished her no harm, that she had no thought of troubling 
the harmonious course of her Revolution, that she would 
not employ brutal means, and would not turn her arms 
against her. The affair of the Stokhod (where more 
than 20,000 men were killed or made prisoners in a few 
hours !) was a misunderstanding, an error. They did not 
wish to push things so far. They excused themselves 
and would not begin again. That was the sense of the 

Meanwhile, we knew that Germany was taking away 
divisions from the Russian front, in order to bring them 
on to the French front. What would she have to fear 
here, if she did not attack ? 

The danger, the great danger, would be that this per- 
fidious article might reassure Russian opinion, trembling 
at the idea of an attack on Dvinsk and Petrograd, and that 
the demi-pacifists they are legion might say to them- 
selves : 

" Let us remain on the defensive. Let us not leave the 
trenches. Thus, shall we have time to arrange our affairs 
at home." 

It was to be feared that this doctrine was making great 
progress in people's minds and might induce a feeble 
Government to renounce the promised offensive the 
offensive without which our bloody effort would remain 
fruitless. This would be on the battlefield, in the midst 
of the combat, an act of treason. 

Towards the end of the afternoon, I saw our Socialist 
delegates ; they were leaving their conference with the 
Executive Committee. They had made a further 
experiment, and an interesting one. 

They had found themselves confronted with augurs 
careful not to commit themselves. They had not 
been able to extract a plain declaration, to obtain a 



precise answer to the questions which they put to 

This Committee was dumb, mysterious, secret. It 
feared the light ; wanted gloom and mystery, and did 
not breathe except in the darkness. Not a word passed 
from man to man. Reticences, silences, delays, on the 
points on which English and French spoke plainly and 
clearly ; while, on the other hand, it had prepared for 
our delegates a series of insidious questions, of traps, of 

" And India ? What do you think about India ? And 
Ireland ? And Morocco ? And Algeria ? And why 
have you not brought some of your minority ? And 
why have you made so many concessions during the 
War ? " etc., etc. 

On the question " No indemnities," our delegates went 
straight to the mark. 

" Xo indemnities ? Well and good! But how about 
reparation for the damage caused ? And how about 
Belgium, a neutral country, which Germany has ruined ? 
And the North of France ? And Poland ? And Serbia ? 
At how many milliards shall we assess the ruins made by 
conquering Germany ? These milliards, shall we not have 
the right to demand them from the Power which has un- 
loosed war on Europe ? Nor is this all. Germany has 
taken away the plant of the rich mines of Belgium and 
of Northern France. She has transported it into Ger- 
many. On the morrow of the peace, thanks to our 
machinery which she has stolen, she will compete with our 
industry and ruin it. "Is it the Belgian and French 
proletariat who ought to pay for years for the robberies 
committed by the Germans ? " 

It was an embarrassing question. Tchkeidze, ambigu- 
ous, ill at ease, with downcast eyes, replied for half an 
hour, without saying either yes or no. And this was 


the Executive Committee which held the Government in 
its power, which wanted to be master of Russia and of 
the entire world ! 

Finally, the Committee, which had evaded all the 
questions, decided that it would nominate a commission 
of a few members to discuss matters with our delegates. 

I finished this long day by seeing an engineer, who was 
an optimist. He said to me : 

" In my factory, we are working normally. It is true 
that we are privileged. With us, the relations between 
workmen, engineers and directors are better than before 
the Revolution. Discipline is more strict ; the workmen 
enforce it themselves. They close the door of the factory 
at 8.10 a.m., and so much the worse for the absentees. 
Elsewhere, it is certain that the output has decreased by 
thirty per cent., but it will recover. Be sure that it is 
the War and the sentiment of patriotic duty which have 
prevented all excesses. Had the Revolution broken out 
in time of peace, our factories would have been burned. 
And there was not even any sabotage. It is the War 
which has saved us. ... And, in the Army, you will see 
that the new sentiment of independence and equality 
will render our troops stronger than they have ever been. 
The soldiers' councils exercise a discipline often more 
strict than the old. They are severe in the matter of 
punishments ; they are on the watch now to prevent 
desertion. They know why they are fighting, and they 
will fight better. . . . The old Army was a machine which 
was getting more out of order every day. At the top, 
disgraceful favouritism prevailed. Alexeief used to say 
to anyone who was willing to hear him : ' The Empress 
used to arrive at Headquarters with lists of incapable 
generals and recommendations from Rasputin. Against 
that we were powerless. To-day, all is changed, the day 


of the valiant officers has arrived. With the old Army, 
we were unable to obtain the victory. With the new 
Army, we are able to nourish, at least, the hope, in spite 
of the surprise caused in the ranks of the soldiers by so 
amazing a novelty . . . .' That is the opinion of 
Alexeief, and all that I hear of the Army shows me that he 
takes a just view of the situation." 

Thus spoke my engineer, who was an optimist. . . . 

8-21 April. 

AT Minsk, the General Congress of the Armies of the 
Centre was opened. Roditchef and Rodzianko were 
invited to it. Tchkeidze and Skobelef represented there 
the Executive Committee of Petrograd ; General Gourko, 
Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the Centre, was 
present. The general impression drawn from the first 
sittings was good, but still it was necessary to admit that 
simple, ignorant soldiers and workmen were being allowed 
to decide the most grave and the most vital of those ques- 
tions which would affect the life of Europe for decades of 
years to come. 

About eleven o'clock in the evening it was a beautiful, 
clear night I went to the Finland Station, to greet, on his 
arrival, my friend Savinkof, who was returning from 
France, after a long exile. I waited for him at the station, 
for he returned with several political refugees. On the 
square was a crowd with banners ; in the station, banners 
and a crowd. The ordinary service was suspended. 
Workmen, soldiers, marines, women of the people, 
Socialists, and revolutionaries of every kidney squeezed 
and hustled one another on the platforms. I could not 
approach within three hundred paces of the line where 
the train waited, and remained for some moments watch- 
ing this mob of singers, for they were singing. ... It 
took me some minutes to recognize the air which the crowd 



was untiringly repeating, a mournful air, without expres- 
sion, which dragged itself along monotonously and with- 
out rhythm. And, all the same, I was unable to deceive 
myself ; it was the Marseillaise ! 

What was it that the Russian people, what was it that 
the babas, had made of our wild chant of revolutionary 
war ? Where were its stirring appeals, its fire, its ardour 
of conquest ? They had transformed it here into a sombre 
and plaintive litany. At the end, they had added three 
redoubled notes :" Abreuve nos sillons . . . Ions . . . Ions 
. . . Ions." In places, they had modified the air itself ; 
but the transformation of the rhythm is what was most 
characteristic and most Russian. This people is a sad 
people ; it has created a sad Marseillaise. Allow it to 
work for another year on this theme, it would render it 
altogether unrecognizable. So much the better ! It was 
the women who were the most persistent in intoning it ; 
and once they had begun, they did not know how to 
stop. Scarcely had they arrived at the end of the couplet, 
than you heard thin and plaintive voices resume again, 
timidly and like a prayer : " Aux armes, citoyens," and 
still : " Formez vos bataiUons . . . Ions . . . Ions . . . 
Ions ; " and " Abreuve nos sillons . . . Ions . . . Ions 
. . . Ions" At the end of a quarter of an hour of this 
melancholy melopoeia, I felt my nerves giving way, and I 
fled, without waiting for the refugees and my friend 

I returned home along the quays. The immense 
Neva, half-frozen over, the sleeping palaces on its banks, 
the bridges which crossed it, the sombre mass of Peter 
and Paul and the tall spire which dominates it, the 
thousands of street-lamps which were reflected in the 
waters of the stream and blended there with the stars 
which bathed in it, composed in the night, illuminated 
by the light of the stars alone, a beautiful and calm 



landscape of a grandeur which tranquillized the soul, 
and bestowed upon it, in the midst of the tempest in 
which we were, some moments of forgetfulness and 

Sunday, 9-22 April. 

OUR worthy Socialist comrades went yesterday, for the 
third time, to the Executive Committee. They returned 
without having obtained a single answer to the precise 
questions which they had put to it. On this occasion, 
they were told that, Tchkeidze and Skobelef being at 
Minsk, and Tseretelli, ill, it was necessary to await 
their return for the Committee to give a doctrinal answer 
to the questions addressed to it. These members of 
the Committee are past-masters in the art of eluding 
difficult questions. Our friends would re-embark for 
France and England without having obtained anything, 
and return as wise as they were before. 

Albert Thomas arrived this evening. I imagined 
that he would not allow himself to be played with, and 
would imist upon preciseness. 

During this Sunday, the Nevsky was in an excited 
state. Orators held meetings at the street-corners. 
They were Anarchists, who were advocating the looting 
of the banks. As the Revolution had given liberty of 
speech to the people, they were allowed to preach in 
peace civil war. In the Lagovskaia there was a quarrel 
between armed soldiers, who fired, and several persons 
were killed. And at Kamenoostrovski Prospect, from 
the top of the balcony of the Kchessinskaia, the Com- 
munist Lenin continued to harangue the people and to 
incite it to revolt. ^ 

Lenin, in search of a lodging, had simply installed 
himself in the palace of the famous danseuse, Kchessins- 
kaia, notorious, formerly, for her relations with the 



Emperor, and lately, with some Grand Dukes. Thus, 
Lenin, who advocated expropriations, was practising 
what he preached and living in Imperial luxury. The 
advocate of the danstute. to put an end to this in- 
tolerable state of things, appealed to the Provisional 
Government, which declared itself powerless, and sent 
him to the Executive Committee. The Committee, in 
its turn, declined all responsibility. Finally, the advocate 
appealed to the courts to obtain a formal decree of 
expulsion against the pro-consul of the Maximal] 

13-26 April. 

THE workmen's deputies of the Council assembled to 
discuss the reorganization of the Council and of the 
Executive Committee. Soldiers and workmen were in 
accord in regard to the reformation of the Council of 
3,000 members, which, on account of the number of 
delegates, was no longer able to perform its work. The 
thesis of the moderates at the meeting was as follows : 
The present Council would name a small council of 500 
members, which would be divided into as many sections 
as there were Ministries, each section watching over 
the activity of a Ministry. The moderates denied that 
they wished to direct it, but they demanded a right of 
effective control. The extremists replied that a little 
council nominated in these conditions would be a Parlia- 
ment elected in the second degree, which was contrary 
to the principles of the direct election. They proposed 
that a new council should be elected, representing exactly 
the proletariat of Petrograd, and on the following bases : 
A delegate elected by every thousand workmen and a 
delegate by every thousand soldiers. They computed that 
workmen and poor clerks would number about 450,000 
and the soldiers about 150,000. Thus the new council 
would include 600 members, and the proletariat and 

Kcrensky and Albert Thomas take part in the first Fete of 
the Revolution. 


Army would have there the representatives to which 
they had a right. 

It was thus seen that the workmen would recover the 
majority which to-day belonged to the soldiers. 

During the discussion, which was, as usual, inter- 
minable and confused, I spoke in the tribune of the 
journalists with a non-commissioned officer. I learned 
that this non-commissioned officer was one of nineteen 
members recently elected to the Executive Committee, 
and he gave me interesting details about this new batch 
of elected members and about the working of the 

" As for this Committee," said he, "we do not want 
it any longer, and on this point, everyone is agreed. 
Who nominated the Committee ? Tchkeidze alone was 
regularly elected President of the Council. The others 
came of themselves, without being elected, and said : 
' We are members of the Committee,' and installed 
themselves there. And then, they voted themselves 
five hundred roubles a month,* the workmen, that is 
to say, or rather their representatives, who, for the 
most part, are not workmen at all, but advocates, 
politicians ; while we, the soldier members, have our 
three kopecks a day. I understand that living is dear 
and that one must live ; but, since they need to be paid, 
they ought to have laid the question before the Council 
and we should have voted their salaries. They have 
taken the place, and now they wish to keep it for them- 
selves. We have just been nominated by our comrades, 
regularly. But when we arrived at the Committee, 
they gave us a bad reception, and would have been very 
willing not to receive us at all. They were obliged to 
accept us, but they do not give us any work. We do not 

* I do not guarantee the accuracy of this information, which I 
have been unable to verify 

145 10 


see a report, not a paper. We are unable to do any- 
thing. All this kind of tiling must be altered." 

He informed me further that a Commission of 180 
members had been elected on the 9-22 March. It was 
divided into sections which studied the different ques- 
tions, revictualling, transports, discipline, etc.. and laid 
reports before the Committee. 

It was the first time that I heard anyone speak of the 
activity of this Commission. 

A discussion began with a workman seated near us, 
who was listening to the speeches delivered from the 
tribune and manifesting his disapproval. This comrade 
was a partisan of Lenin, and the non-commissioned 
officer attacked him with force and directness : 

" Comrade," said he, " you ought before everything 
to explain to me why Germany has sent us Lenin, while 
she has ignored the other revolutionaries.'' 

The member was unable to parry this direct thrust, 
and argued about the necessity of concluding the War 
in agreement with all the democracies, giving to each 
country its liberty. 

" And if Germany does not want this kind of peace ? " 
he was asked. 

" Germany cannot make peace with Gutchkoff and 
Miliukoff. Then we must overthrow them. Once we 
have a true democracy, the German Socialists will put 
down William and come to an arrangement with us." 

" The German Socialists have, up to the present, 
supported the Emperor hi the War, because they saw 
in it a victorious War and the power which Germany 
would gain over the whole world. When Lenin has 
made disorder complete hi Russia, nothing will be 
more easy for the Germans than to beat us. Then 
the Germans will have the peace which they want, and 
not that which you hope for." 



The Leninist was unconvinced, and said : 

" I do not want to make a war about which I under- 
stand nothing. I demand that the secret treaties between 
Russia, France and England be shown to me." 

But the non-commissioned officer replied : 

" That's it, so that Germany may profit by it." 

The Leninist, feeling the ground failing under bis feet, 
sought refuge in the question of the classes. 

" Who is it who governs us ? Bourgeois ! This 
Chingaref is a monarchist. We ought to assume power." 

" My dear fellow," replied the non-commissioned 
officer, " I have a great respect for Chingaref. See what 
he has done. Yesterday, we had no bread. To-day, 
do you want for it ? Think only of the position in 
which we were two months ago, and to what a state of 
misery Tsarism had reduced us. This Chingaref is a 
man who knows how to work. If it was you or myself 
who was in charge of the revictualling of Russia, we 
should very soon die of hunger." 

The fellow took himself off, grumbling more and 

The non-commissioned officer turned towards me 
and said : 

" What is it that they have come to do here, these 
people ? Now we have the Revolution ; the Old Regime 
is overthrown ; we are happy, we are free, and this 
wretch Lenin must needs come to create disorder. Ah, 
no ! ... I will tell you plainly that we soldiers do 
not want it. We had decided to go and seize this 
comrade who is stirring up the people. . . . Yes, we 
were going in two companies. . . . But our leaders 
restrained us, explaining to us that, up to the present, 
he had done nothing but talk, and that people had the 
right to speak, even to talk absurdities. But let him 
take care what he is doing ! . . . We are keeping an 

147 10* 


eye on him. Let him try and budge, and we shall settle 
his account. And that will not take long." 

15-28 April. 

WE must laugh also. Here are three pieces of news 
which the journals of these last days brought me, and 
which I record without comment. 

The deaf-mutes, the Social Democrats of Petrograd, 
had decided to found a club where they would meet 
and discuss matters in their fashion, which may or 
may not be the best, that is to say, noiselessly, the 
questions on the order of the day. The sessions of 
this club would arrange for us conferences and meetings 
which would be held in all the halls and at every street 
corner of the town. 

The gentlemen who had deserted from the Army held 
their Congress at Odessa. The Committee scoured the 
town in motor-cars, and gave the deserters a rendezvous 
at three o'clock in the park of the town, which was 
found too small for the crowd of comrades who had 
hastened to answer the summons of their leaders. I 
have not the order of the day voted by the Assembly, 
which I regret. The deserters discussed the question 
of a return to the front, and, without doubt, had decided 
to profit by the delay of a month which the Government 
was still offering them and to enjoy the benefits of 
liberty up to 28 May following. 

The interesting corporation of the prisoners of war 
in Russia, who lived almost in full liberty, had been 
stirred by the great breath of the Revolution. United 
in congress at Kiev, the Bosnians, Croatians, Czechs, 
Dalmatians, Serbs and other Jougo-Slavs employed on 
the works of municipal highways and on the railways, 
passed a resolution by which they demanded to be 
admitted to the benefit of the eight hours' day. 



One must know nothing of the Russian mind not to 
be certain that their legitimate claim would be favourably 

And there we were ! 


WE were returning, always and despite ourselves, to the 
question of the War. Russia, in the effervescence in 
which we saw her, was she capable of wanting war ? 
An immense party, the Social Democratic Party, which 
represented almost all that was organized in the pro- 
letariat, was on the side of peace, and I was certain that 
at bottom, in almost all minds, the desire for peace was 
strong. A few only took account of what Russia 
would lose by a bad and hasty peace. Among the 
others, the thought of the War was effaced by the 
immediate preoccupations of the great problems which 
confronted the new Russia. The work at home was so 
vast, so pressing, that it sufficed to absorb the mind 
of everyone. Agrarian questions, labour questions, 
social questions, questions political and questions 
financial. There was a world to create ! How could the 
time be found to do it ? How to find the time to occupy 
themselves with the War ? Even for those who regarded 
the War as necessary, what a relief it would be if they 
came and told them : " Let us make peace ! " To 
what sacrifices would they not consent for peace ! 

That is a bad state of mind in which to carry on war 
war a entrance. 

And even if the Government and the Army had the 
will to constrain the country to a war, how would they 
make war ? What was the Army worth to-day ? I under- 
stood that they were going to purge the High Command 



and retire compulsorily a number of incapable superior 
officers imposed by the Old Regime and the influence 
of the Court. I knew the willingness and the work of 
the supreme chiefs and of the Minister for War. But 
would that be sufficient ? Of what value were good 
leaders, if they were not followed ? What was the 
soldier such as he who had made the magic-ring coup of 
the Revolution worth? 

The Russian soldier is a naive and simple being, in- 
stinctive and subtle. He does not reason much ; he 
thinks as little as possible and slowly, and according to 
the hidden course of an obscure thought which escapes 
us. He is submissive and mistrustful ; at bottom, 
he obeys with pleasure ; he loves to devote himself, 
not for an abstract idea, which he comprehends with 
difficulty, but for a leader whom he knows and who 
knows how to speak to him. The old instruction had 
taught him, by dint of time and patience, to hold him- 
self erect, his head high, his shoulders squared, to raise 
his legs in time by balancing the arms, to make me- 
chanical evolutions, according to the complicated 
regulations of the sjhool of company and battalion. 
He knew how to reply, in brief and precise words, and, 
above all triumph of training ! he used to salute, in 
a long jerky sentence, which broke forth like the 
crackling of a machine gun, and which issued, in a single 
cry, from three thousand throats, the arrival of a superior 
on the parade ground. 

All that, after a year or two in the regiment with eight 
hours of work per day, he knew admirably. There 
was no finer soldier in the world than this automatic 
and respectful soldier. He needed firm discipline. Well- 
trained and led, he was heroic. Left to himself, he 
surrendered with the same simplicity that he would 
have encountered death if he had been led into the 



enemy's fire. The number of prisoners nearly two 
million was a proof of it. The officer, for him, was 
a being of a superior caste, to whom he did not address 
himself except in accordance with the ritual forms 
prescribed by the regulations. Often he had little respect 
and esteem for him ; but he used to obey him. 

And this is what they have just said to this brave 
soldier : 

" You are free ; you are a citizen, the equal of your 
officer. You will not salute him any more ; he has no 
longer the right to punish you. It is you yourself who 
will nominate the soldiers' committees, which will have 
to make discipline respected your discipline such as 
you will be willing to accept. You will be able to 
associate with other soldiers, to form groups and organi- 
zations, to defend your political opinions, if you have 
any. The Revolution gives you all that. Further, it 
is going to divide the land, and you will have your shape 
that of the freeholder." 

The soldier listened to this fine talk. The most in- 
telligent among them, after long reflection, had arrived 
at this simple reasoning : 

" It appears that I am free. Liberty, that is to do 
what one wishes. Fighting is but little to my taste ; 
you run the risk of getting an ugly blow. I shall fight 
as little as possible. Mounting guard is not agreeable ; 
I shall omit some hours of guard ; at night, for 
example, when it is very melancholy near the trenches. 
. . . Liberty, that also means to go where you wish. I 
am going to make a tour of the villages, as they are 
about to divide up the land. I must be there, for if I 
am not, they will perhaps forget me. ..." 

And he went. He is a deserter ? No, he is a gentle- 
man on French leave. 

In the first weeks of the Revolution, the number of 


these gentlemen on French leave was frightful. People 
did not dare to mention a total. Had 1,000,000 or 
1,500,000 quitted the Army ? Who knows ? 

The fact was that this mob of soldiers had taken the 
trains by assault, had expelled the travellers, had crushed 
under their weight the roofs of the carriages, and had 
reached the most remote points of Russia. They had 
been masters and lords of the railways. In many regions 
they were so still. They had directed the trains at 
their own sweet will, had brought them where they 
required to go. The complaints of the station-masters 
filled the newspapers. The civilian travellers suffered 
cruel experiences. To go from Petrograd or Moscow 
was a quasi-heroic act. 

The appeals of the regiments to their deserters appeared 
every day. The chiefs of the Army published orders ; 
the Minister of War entreated them to return. But 
what showed in earnest the gravity of the affair was 
an appeal from the Provisional Government, which 
ordered them to rejoin the Army and fixed the date of 
their return to the front. And the date, what was the 
date ? The decree appeared on the 1-14 April, and 
the return to the regiment was fixed at the 15-28 May ! 
Six weeks ! It was to put a premium on desertion. 
What would the soldiers who had remained at the front 
say when they saw their comrades who had deserted 
given six weeks of regular furlough ? 

Petrograd, garrisoned by more than 150,000 men, 
was full of these gentlemen on French leave. They 
strolled about the streets, visited their acquaintances 
and went to see the sights. In the evening, between 
five and seven o'clock, they might be seen making their 
way, separately, but by hundreds, to the Nicholas 
Station, where they installed themselves in a train, in 
the place of the travellers, to continue their tour in the 



interior. At Bologoya, a station- junction, they were so 
numerous that they had laid the cars on the line to stop 
the Moscow express, which they took possession of. 
Between Moscow and Voroneje they took by assault a 
train full of students of both sexes, among whom I had 
a lady friend, made them alight at a little station, 
and ordered the engine-driver to take them towards 

At the front, they took measures to arrest the exodus 
of the soldiers. At the great railway-stations, a strict 
watch was kept. But the gentlemen on French leave 
left them to gain on foot a little station, where a guard 
had not been placed. 

I read on this subject in the Roiiskia Viedomosti, of 
Moscow, an article by Petrichtchef. It was optimistic, 
but it contained some just observations. Here is the 
translation : 


" You are going to travel ? I pity you. . . . You 
will learn at your expense what the ' Liberty of the 
Soldiers ' means. Take the ticket you want : the 
soldiers will dispose of your place, and you, with your 
luggage, will remain in the corridor and perhaps even 
on the platform. Do you know what happened at 
X . . . ? The station-master said bluntly : 

" ' The first and second class carriages are occupied 
by the soldiers ; I cannot sell anyone a ticket. . . .' 

" The travellers sent a deputation to the soldiers. 
The soldiers, after due deliberation, resolved to renounce 
a certain amount of their comfort, to pack themselves 
a little closely, and permitted ten first and ten second- 
class tickets to be sold." 

Thus spoke to me my friend, a man of rather advanced 



opinions, the evening before my departure from Moscow. 
And he was not the only one to speak like this. How 
many legends, rumours and conversations on the 
" Liberty of the Soldier" did I hear ! Even, if all this 
were true, it was necessary to make some reservation. 
The " Liberty of the Soldiers " had begun well before 
the Revolution ; but, during the present War, it had 
not been so violent as during the Russo-Japanese War. 
Then entire towns, Smolensk, for example, were in the 
power of a mob of drunken soldiers, who feared and fled 
from the military and civil authorities. Now, thank 
God ! we saw nothing to equal that. . . . But during 
the War, before the Revolution, the Imperial military 
organization was already incapable of making order 
reign in the mas* of millions of recruits. The chiefs, 
even, were often negligent and incapable. Detach- 
ments of soldiers were uselessly taken from place to 
place ; others were forgotten for weeks, even for months, 
and remained without work and without shelter ; other 
soldiers, snatched from their hearths to defend the 
Fatherland, were employed as servants to the lazy 
wives of officers. . . . Besides, on the side of the regular 
soldier, we saw already appear the wandering soldier, 
who, if he were not a deserter, was, all the same, a soldier 
without papers to show or with very doubtful papers. 

Before the Revolution, again, you might already note 
a change in the manners of the soldier-deserter. So 
long as he was alone in a village, he hid himself. But, 
as soon as there were a dozen deserters, they lived openly 
at their homes. The population, enemy of all which 
came from the autocratic Government, supported them. 
The police did not intervene, aware that a deserter would 
know how to be revenged. 

And, in the same way, in the stations, a single soldier 
without papers mingled with the crowd of men on 



furlough, and, so long as there were only ten or fifteen 
" deserters," the outward signs of discipline were main- 
tained. But what happened so soon as they numbered 
a hundred or a hundred and fifty ? They took by 
assault the third-class carriages. As for the guards, 
gendarmes and station-masters, they hid themselves or 
pretended to see nothing. The " soldiers at liberty " 
seized upon the third-class carriages, and many times 
have I seen myself how they refused the little open cars 
which were placed at their disposal. 

But the number of " deserters " was increasing, and 
the third-class carriages were unable to accommodate 
them. During the two last months before the Revolu- 
tion, you saw the soldiers going more and more into 
the corridors and compartments of the first- and second- 
class carriages. The staff of the train, the ticket- 
collector at their head, passed by them in silence. No 
one asked for their papers or their permits. The officers 
also preferred to keep quiet. In my last journey before 
the Revolution between Moscow and Briansk, on 
20 February, I remarked that the " soldiers at liberty " 
wanted to take possession of the first-class carriages. 

" How will it end ? " I asked my travelling companion, 
an Army doctor. 

" In the same way as during the Manchurian Cam- 
paign," answered he. " The soldiers will take these 
carriages and will drive the generals and officers into 
the unheated carriages. In 1905, it happened after 
the peace, during the evacuation. It seems to me that, 
this time, it will arrive before the peace. In the spring, 
without doubt, and also, certainly, in the summer. . . ." 

It happened thus, I repeat, before the Revolution. 
And whatever might be the kt Liberty of the Soldiers " 
now, it was impossible to make the Revolution alone 
responsible for it. The Revolution had only caused 



the movement to be accelerated. Soldiers from the 
rear of the front departed " voluntarily " to their homes 
and were temporarily deserters. On the other hand, 
the old fugitives had been seized by an attack of 
patriotism, and a part of them had made their way 
towards the front. And that happening at the time 
of the Easter furloughs, threw an enormous additional 
burden on the railways, at the moment when the trains 
were less numerous. 

At the station, the whole place was full of soldiers. 
They were numerous also in the first-class waiting-room, 
but we did not discern any particular " liberty." Here 
and there, groups of soldiers, with officers, were seated 
on the ground ; some on their valises and packs, drinking 
tea, talking and laughing. I had never seen in Russia 
these friendly relations between soldiers and officers. 
But it was true liberty : liberty and equality, and not 
license. The evening trains were signalled : a train 
of four classes, a passenger train and an express train. 

The travellers were not allowed to pass : " Your 
tickets ? " The soldiers pushed forward, and they could 
not restrain them. They quickly filled the carriages, 
and there they were already on the roofs. We the 
passengers waited and looked on. ... Without doubt, 
the new authority was managing things rather badly, 
or rather, was incapable of managing them better. But 
again, why should one accuse the " Liberty of the 
Soldiers " of all that happened ? 

I met at the station a " Koupietz " (merchant) whom I 
knew. We decided to travel together. But he had a 
ticket for the sleeping-car in the express, while I had 
been only able to procure a ticket for the passenger 
train. We met again in the provinces. I asked him 
how the journey had passed off, and he replied : - 



" The soldiers occupied the seats ; the passengers 
with tickets entitling them to seats were standing up 
in the corridors. I must add the soldiers had estab- 
lished a ' daily service,' and one by one they went out 
of the coupe and proposed to the passengers : 

" ' Go and sit down, we will remain standing. In a 
little time, citizens, we will change places. . . .' 

" In the first-class sleeping-car, in which I travelled, 
the ' order ' was different. We were eighty travellers 
and twenty soldiers. Before the Revolution the ' officers 
on leave ' disposed of the sleeping-cars ; they travelled 
comfortably in the coupes, and the passengers arranged 
"themselves as best they could. This time the ' order ' 
was arranged by a soldier who had an enormous red 
bow on his chest and a Jewish merchant, who was pro- 
ceeding from Moscow into the Government of Volhynia. 
They insisted, in^the first place, that each coupe of four 
places should be occupied by twelve persons (two on each 
divan below, and two on the bunks above). Then the 
place of the provodnik, whom they turned out, was 
requisitioned. Three wounded men were installed there. 
The officers were asked to remove into a second-class 
carriage, specially reserved for officers. The results : 
all the coupes were occupied by us, the soldiers placed 
themselves in the corridors, on the platforms. The 
travellers who had no seats joined them. The two 
organizers did not occupy any seats ; the soldier with 
the big bow passed the night on the floor, and the Jewish 
merchant, in the corridor near me, seated on his valise." 

" Formerly," said I, " how many persons would have 
remained on the platform ! " 

" You are right," said he quickly, " without ' liberty ' 
we should have required here three or four sleeping-cars. 
Now one was sufficient ; it was crowded, but we made 
the journey ; that was the important thing. Before the 



Revolution, people prudently passed over in silence the 
' Liberty of the Soldiers.' Now they spoke their minds 
quite frankly. 'We have paid, but you are here with- 
out a ticket. Then, you ought to understand.' 

" They replied warmly, but a Jew made them under- 
stand reason. 

" ' At Moscow,' said he, ' they do not know yet what 
to do. I come from Vologda. On the railways of the 
north perfect order reigns. The patrol and the militia 
meet each train. There are people who direct the soldiers 
and the travellers : 

" ' Take your seat according to your ticket. You have 
money ? You can take the express.' 

" ' And we ? Because we have no money we must 
travel on " Maxim Gorki," ' replied the soldiers. 

" ' It is not we who are giving the orders,' rejoined the 
Jew. ' The patrol is sent by the Committee of Workmen's 
and Soldiers' Delegates ; the militia, by the civil powers. 
. . . You do not wish, then, to recognize the authority 
of the people any longer ? Then what order will exist ? ' 

" To such an argument they found no answer. They 
agreed there could be no order without authority. 

In the autumn, we had spoken of the horrors which 
threatened Russia after the peace. The Army would not 
be willing to await a slow and regrflar evacuation. It 
would hasten to return ; it would rush headlong into the 
railway-carriages. As usual, officers would hide them- 
selves, and the rear would be inundated by famished 
" soldiers at liberty." They would demand bread, and 
the inhabitants would not have any. The worst catas- 
trophes seemed to us inevitable. 

" Ah, well ! What will happen now, after the peace ? " 
I asked him. 

" Now " he began to laugh " the Council of Work- 
men's and Soldiers' Delegates will send patrols. Everyone 



will remain in his place and will patiently await his turn. 
You know, our soldiers are all for law and order. 
The idea of order is sacred to them, but they detested and 
despised the old authority. The new power is theirs 
and they esteem it. And this power will not hide itself. 
Its arms are a little longer than those of the old. Thank 
God ! the ' Liberty of the Soldiers ' is drawing towards 
its end. How many evils would it have caused had it 
not been for the Revolution ! " 

Was this true ? The answer depended on the new 
power and, above all, on the people itself. Before the 
Revolution, it was unable to do anything ; it was con- 
demned to passivity. Now, it was able, it ought, and, I 
thought it would, put a stop to the " Liberty of the 

Let us hope it will do it ! 

But what was the Army in which reigned the " Liberty 
of the Soldier " worth to-day ? And, even what is 
optimistic and requires an act of faith if order were 
re-established, how much time would be required to 
impose a new discipline equal to the old ? And would 
that time ever come ? We were at the end of the War. 
A great effort was necessary in order to finish it as we 
hoped. Could we expect this effort from the New Russia 
and from the Army of the Revolution ? 

Such were the thoughts which besieged and tormented 
us unceasingly. 

16-29 April (Sunday). 

TO-DAY, there took place the most touching of demon- 
strations. ... A host of war cripples assembled, at ten 
o'clock, on the Kazan Square, to proceed in procession 
to the Tauris Palace. 



There were present, to the number of several thousand, 
all those who had lost an arm, a leg, or an eye in the ser- 
vice of the Fatherland ; all those of whom the War had 
made invalids, poor hulks of humanity. You saw hun- 
dreds dragging themselves slowly along the Nevsky on 
one leg and two crutches ; hundreds of others had only 
one arm ; several who had lost both legs came in carriages 
or lorries. Others the most to be pitied were blind. 
They were guided by Sisters of Charity, and passed along, 
holding their arms, walking hesitatingly, yet proudly, 
in this heroic procession. Entire hospitals had discharged 
into the streets their wounded, and attendants and 
Sisters of Charity passed, with the doctors at their head. 
The most infirm were in motor-cars. Officers mingled 
with the soldiers. Here was a general with one arm, 
surrounded by soldiers who had only one leg. The 
majority of the faces of these young men were frightfully 
pale ; but in their eyes what fire ! what pride ! The 
cross of the brave sparkled on almost all their breasts. 
Military bands preceded them, and these mutilated men 
carried banners on which we read the most noble inscrip- 
tions : " The Fatherland is in danger ! " " For Russia 
we will give the last drop of our blood ! " " Without 
victory, no liberty I " " With our wooden legs, if need 
be, we will begin the struggle again ! " " War for 
liberty by the side of our Allies ! " " Eternal glory to 
those who have died for the Fatherland ! " " Down with 
the partisans of peace ! " " All for victory, even what 
remains of us ! " " Send this salute to our brothers 
in the trenches ! " " You who are in good health 
take our places in the trenches ! " And the finest of all : 
" Look at us, our wounds demand victory ! " A whole 
series of placards cried for vengeance against Lenin and 
the " Defeatists." 

For more than an hour this heroic procession marched 


Kerensky addressing the crowd at the Fete 
celebrating Liberty. 

A First of May group of spectat( 

[To fact p. 160. 

The costumes of the East and the West blended in the 

First of May procession. The woollen headshawl worn 

by women is typically Russian 

Joy ride in a decorated wagon 

[To face p. 161. 


slowly along. And, as it passed, heads were uncovered, 
the women made the sign of the cross, and all eyes filled 
with tears. 

At the Tauris Palace, the mutilated men warmly 
interrupted Skobelef, who was defending Lenin's right 
to speak like every other citizen, and compelled him to 
deliver a patriotic speech in favour of the War. It was 

On leaving the Tauris Palace, the partisans of Lenin 
had the sorry courage to throw themselves on these 
heroes and snatch from them, by dint of blows, their 
heroic banners. 

18 April-l May. 

THE 1st of May of the New Russia, the first fete-day of 
the Revolution ! And the Russian Revolution became, 
at one stroke, international by the adoption of a new 
calendar and the abandonment of the old Russian Style. 
The 1st of May is the 18th of April in the Russian calendar, 
and to-day Russia feted the 1st of May. 

I walked during the day in the town, lingering for a 
long time on the Champ de Mars, centre of the popular 
fete, passing along the Palace Square, along Nevsky, 
over the Troitzky Bridge, before the Palace of the Kches- 
sinskaia, to-day the lair of the celebrated and redoubt- 
able Lenin. I mingled with the people ; I was jostled 
by soldiers and citizens ; I listened to the speakers, and 
this is what I saw : 

On the Champ de Mars, at eleven o'clock, there was an 
immense crowd. It was a human sea, above the waves of 
which floated hundreds of red banners with gilded in- 
scriptions which the wind tossed about, and^whose gold 
letters shone, for a moment, in the sun. In^a score of 
places, stood platforms, motor-lorries, and carts, sur- 
rounded by red banners, and on which orators mounted. 

161 ii 


The crowd assembled around ^them. Here, a student was 
speaking ; there, a workman ; in another place, a soldier. 
The workmen were in a great majority. Red ribbons 
decorated their proletarian breasts ; they were very 
excited, they indulged in violent gestures, and the wind, 
keen and cold, carried their words in fragments across the 
crowd, which listened to them with open mouths. Twenty 
military bands let loose upon the people their brazen 

In the midst of this crowd, circulated great processions 
which arrived from the working-class centres, and marked 
out more sombre and regular currents on the agitated and 
stormy waves of the human sea which covered this vast 
plain. The order which prevailed in these processions 
was astonishing. The crowd which surrounded them 
made way of itself at the summons of the leaders. A 
thousand persons might have been crushed in the midst 
of this mob ; yet I did not see a single accident, so much 
good-nature and natural kindness, I might even say 
cordiality, was shown by everyone. I took photographs ; 
I was dressed as a bourgeois ; obviously, I was not one 
of the people. The people stepped back so as not to in- 
convenience me, and watched me working with interest. 
Not an unpleasant look, not a jealously-uttered demand, 
was directed at me ; nothing but good-natured smiles. 
I passed an hour and a half in moving from group to group, 
in listening, if not to the orators, who were scarcely heard, 
at least to the private conversations, which were loud, 
animated, ceaseless. Surprising thing ! Whatever 
might be the distance which separated the points of view 
of these talkers, the discussions were pursued in a good- 
tempered tone. They never got so far as to insult one 
another. As to coming to blows, no one had any idea of 
it. This people has no nerves ; it does not grow excited ; 
it does not get angry. It loves discussions ; it endures 



without end interminable garrulity. Past centuries have 
endowed it with the patience of which it is far from having 
exhausted the rich reserves. 

I went to the Palace Square. The crowd was less 
dense there, but the general view of the meetings and of 
the processions against the red walls of the Winter Palace 
was very agreeable. I saw thus pass, marching along 
with bands and banners, the Government clerks in uni- 
form, and you can imagine that there are thousands in 
this town, the seat of the Imperial bureaucracy, post- 
office and telegraph clerks, students, marines, soldiers, 
workmen and working-women, with bright scarves round 
their heads. Then came the school-children, urchins of 
eight to ten years old, girls and boys holding each other 
by the hand, domestic servants, with a banner proclaim- 
ing the emancipation of the waiting-maid, the cook and 
the footman, waiters from the restaurants, and still more 
workmen and working-women. All this crowd marched 
past as if there were no end to it. Many sang the strange 
Marseillaise which the Russian people had accommo- 
dated to its own taste, which is not good ! And the orators 
harangued the crowd ! And the military bands drowned 
their voices ! And the applause broke out ! And it 
went on and on ! ... 

On Nevsky the processions passed one another. From 
the top to the bottom of the Prospect, for two good miles 
there was a surge of heads, which dominated the thousands 
of red banners that the wind tossed about. There was 
not a discordant cry ! Not a gesture of anger ! 

The militia was absent. This crowd maintained its 
own discipline. An old clerk near me said to me : 

" What order ! Is there a people in the world capable 
of behaving thus ? " 

He was right. The qualities and the defects of the 
Russian people served it equally to-day. It is patient 

163 II* 


And without hatred, good and apathetic ; it has no nerves, 
it is sluggish, unstable, docile. And it has more than this : 
it is so proud of having gained its liberty that it wishes 
to show itself worthy of it. It intends to show that it is 
able to dispense with police and that it knows how to 
behave without garodovois. That is very fine. 

In the afternoon, the spectacle changed a little. There 
were no more processions, but a crowd, always varied, 
restless and good-tempered, filled the squares and streets. 
On the Champ de Mars, there were a hundred meetings. 
Towards evening, the extremists had their hour. Lenin's 
partisans seized the platforms and dominated the groups. 
They encountered people who contradicted them, but 
I remarked that, on the Champ de Mars, the War was no 
longer mentioned at all, unless it were to demand an 
immediate end of it, and that the bourgeois, such as I was, 
were less well received. However, there was not a violent 
word ; but they said to me quietly : 

" You don't belong to us. You are wearing gloves." 

Before the Palace of the Kchessinskaia there was a 
meeting. From a " pergola " in the open air, the citizen 
Anarchists harangued a light-hearted crowd, which was 
not moved by their eloquence. The majority of the 
people had come there, like myself, out of curiosity to 
hear the lion roar ; but Lenin hid himself and allowed his 
lieutenants to do the work. 

And I returned, troubled, along the interminable 
Troitzky Bridge, which was blocked by thousands of 
passers-by. Beneath us was the immense Neva covered 
with the drift-ice of Lake Ladoga. The frost of these 
last days had frozen the surface of the stream, and the 
vast ice-floe descended slowly, borne along, in a single 
sheet, towards the sea, by the invisible and powerful 
current of the stream. 



20 April-3 May. 

THIS morning the papers had a very important piece of 
news. It appeared that the Government was sending the 
Allies the famous proclamation of March 27-April 9 to 
the country on the subject of " War aims," and its purport 
can be summed up in the simple and negative formula, 
" No annexations, no indemnities." As is well known, 
this proclamation had been forced on the Government by 
the Executive Committee, itself obsessed with the idea 
of concluding an immediate peace through the pressure 
of all democracies on their governments, which in its eyes 
were one and all bourgeois and imperialist. The Govern- 
ment had originally refused to communicate this procla- 
mation to the Allies, but the Committee then resumed its 
pressure to get its way, so the Government was finally 
issuing it, accompanying the declaration with an explana- 
tory note. This note was vague and indefinite in the first 
two paragraphs, but the third contained something which 
seemed to be clearer. It ran as follows : 

" The desire of the whole nation to bring this world 
war to a victorious conclusion has developed because all 
have realized their responsibility. This desire has become 
imperative and is now concentrated on the problem of the 
moment, the problem of driving out the enemy invader 
from our Fatherland. As the accompanying declaration 
states, the Provisional Government, defending the rights 
of our country, will remain faithful to its engagements 
with its Allies. Certain of the victorious conclusion of 
the war, united to our Allies, it is equally sure that the 
issues raised by this war will be settled in the sense of the 
realization of a secure and lasting peace, and that the 
advanced democracies, inspired by the same desires, will 



find means to obtain the sanctions and guarantees neces- 
sary to avoid further sanguinary conflicts in the future." 

It is this last paragraph, with its reference to " victory," 
" sanctions " and " guarantees," which caused the ex- 
plosion. The press of the Extreme Left broke out with 
a great war-whoop. Maxim Gorki's poisonous journal 
ended a leading article with the following, in capital 
letters : 

" We hope that the Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' 
Delegates will take immediate steps to render Miliukoff 

Pravda, Lenin's organ, published a short article : 
" Crash ! " to the effect that the note was a bomb thrown 
at the feet of the Committee and put an end to its co- 
operation with the Government. 

The official organ of the Council of Workmen's and 
Soldiers' Delegates informed the public in huge letters on 
its front page that the Council would meet in general 
assembly the same evening at six o'clock. 

I learned shortly after that the Committee had itself 
been sitting from midnight when the note was issued 
to half-past three in the morning, that its officials were 
assembling at eleven o'clock this morning, and that the 
Executive Committee would meet at twelve. A little 
later I received reliable information that agitators had 
been hard at work in the barracks since half-past five in 
the morning. 

The stage was set for a pitched battle, for there was no 
question that the Committee intended to force the issue, 
rouse all the workmen and soldiers, and compel the 
Government to capitulate, withdraw their note, harmless 
though it was, and, if they refused, to resign. 



The afternoon of a glorious spring day, warm and fresh, 
saw an immense throng in the Nevsky, and meetings 
everywhere. Thousands of orators harangued the mob 
at street corners. The Government was not without 
supporters, and I even saw banners in their honour and 
in favour of Miliukoff, but the cry of " Down with Miliu- 
koff " was undoubtedly the loudest and most insistent. 

About five o'clock the Government held a Council in 
the Marie Palace. They accepted the challenge and 
declared themselves jointly responsible for the note of 
the Foreign Office. It was then that an incident, of 
serious and sinister import, occurred. A large number 
of soldiers from the depdts of the four worst regiments, 
the Pavlovsk, 180th, Finnish and Moscow, lined up in 
ranks before the Palace, shouting out, " Down with 
Miliukoff." There were about twenty thousand of them. 
What was coming next ? Would they invade the Palace 
and lay hands on the members of the Government ? 
Were we about to see the triumph of anarchy and the 
establishment of the Commune in Petrograd ? 

General Korniloff, who was luckily at hand, went down 
to this mutinous assembly, spoke to the men and brought 
them round to sense so that they gradually dispersed. 
Only one regiment marched down the Nevsky Prospect, 
indulging in the most disgraceful of the demonstrations 
against the War. 

I learned that the Executive Committee had asked, 
I should, perhaps, say summoned, the Government to 
appear at the full session of the Council. The Govern- 
ment refused, and replied that they would receive the 
Executive Committee in the evening. 

About half-past eight I took a carriage for the distant 
Basil Island, the scene of the session of the Council of 
three thousand members who that night were arrogating 
to themselves the right to decide the fate of Russia, 



France, England, Italy, Belgium, Serbia, Roumania, 
Japan and the United States of America. My coachman 
was a sagacious old fellow, his sagacity not unmingled 
with superstition, and he soon started up a conversation 
with me, Petrograd fashion, from the vantage-point of 
his box. 

" I was lucky to pick you up," he began. " Between 
ourselves, I can tell you we're going to see something ! 
It's a miserable business hanging about by yourself in 
these days. . . . No one in the Nevsky. . . . The soldiers 
demonstrating. . . . We're all stark, staring mad, Sir. 
. . . We're out to fall foul of our Allies and everything 
else decent in the world, with our true friends. By the 
finish we shall have everyone against us, and only William 
with us. ... I tell you they're all stark, staring mad." 

I was still wondering at the political wisdom of my old 
izvostchik when we reached the Neva wharfs. Behind the 
red and white buildings of the Corps of Pages the sky, 
painted by the setting sun, was a dream of beauty. 
Only one small cloud broke the expanse of crimson and 

The driver pointed to it with his whip. 

" A solitary cloud ! . . . That's a bad sign, sir ... 
there's going to be bloodshed ! " 

The Nicholas Bridge was the scene of several demon- 
strations against the Government and banners were 
innumerable. Workmen and workwomen marched up 
and down bawling. A dray, with a load of thirty men, 
passed by, and though it was nearly dark I could see they 
were armed. They were the notorious " Red Guard," 
an anarchist association which flourished in the suburbs. 
I got out at the wharfs of the island and continued on foot 
to the meeting-place. My old driver, reluctant to leave 
me, insisted on waiting for me by a lamp-post. 

Many soldiers and workmen passed by. I made 



inquiries and found that the Council had met at seven 
o'clock and had adjourned after a few speeches to enable 
the Executive Committee to appear at the Marie Palace 
in accordance with the Government's invitation. 

There's something hopeful about that, I thought. 
It showed that the Government's firmness had had an 
effect. The Committee dared not provoke an open rup- 
ture. My izvostchik, delighted at the new turn of affairs, 
drove me post-haste to the Marie Palace. 

20 April-3 May. 

A WONDERFUL sight met my eyes. The whole Palace was 
lit up and on the square in front thousands of people were 
gathered to hear the speeches which were addressed to 
them from the balcony of the famous building. I heard 
that Miliukoff had already harangued the crowd, using 
stirring words : 

" I was the first to accuse Sturmer of treason and the 
betrayal of Russia to Germany. How could I be guilty 
of a similar betrayal to-day ? . . . Everything must 
be subordinated to the prosecution of the War side by 
side with our Allies. Our one and only aim is the defeat 
of Germany." He was loudly cheered. 

I heard loyal Rodzianko address a moving appeal to 
the Russian people, an appeal in the name of those who 
had died for their country. He, too, was warmly cheered 
at the end of his speech. The crowd tended to split up 
into groups, where endless discussions were carried on, 
but for the moment the supporters of the Government had 
a majority. The air was heavy with suppressed feeling, 
for every man there realized the stake which was being 
played for within the walls of the Palace that night. 

I went straight into the Palace and made my way 
through deserted rooms to the Press room, next to that 



in which the Conference was sitting. My colleagues were 
in a considerable state of fluster, as they had just been 
refused admission. Prince Lvof and the Government 
were quite willing that they should be present, but the 
Executive Committee of the Council of Workmen's and 
Soldiers' Delegates had protested and driven them forth. 
Truly the members of the Committee had no love for the 
light of publicity a characteristic which I had noted 

Eleven members of the Government were present at 
the Conference, but Kerensky, who was a member both of 
the Government and the Executive Committee, thought 
it his duty to keep away. The rest of the assembly 
comprised ten members of the Executive Committee of 
the Imperial Duma and about eighty members of the 
Executive Committee of the Council of Workmen's and 
Soldiers' Delegates in all about a hundred persons. 

We waited, but no news leaked out from the next room. 
One hour, two hours passed, and about midnight Chin- 
garef passed through the Press room. I went up to 
him, but though he would tell me nothing of what had 
transpired, he confided to me that it was impossible to 
say what the result would be, and that there was an atmo- 
sphere of hopeless confusion. He looked pale and worn 

An hour later, Terestchenko and Shulgin, both members 
of the Executive Committee of the Duma, appeared. 
Terestchenko told me that first of all Gutchkoff had 
outlined the situation in the Army and especially at the 
front. Chingaref had followed with a speech on the food 
and transport question, and Terestchenko himself had 
then explained the financial situation. Konovalof, the 
Minister of Commerce and Industry, also spoke. 
Terestchenko thought that the sitting would probably 
last until four in the morning. 


A short time after General Korniloff received me in 
the great ante-chamber to the Hall of Session, and told 
me what had happened. 

It appeared that about 5.30 in the morning of that 
day a number of agitators had appeared in the barracks 
and endeavoured to incite the men against the Govern- 

" Our men," he said, " are nothing but great, over- 
grown children. I went down to the barracks this morn- 
ing and the first thing I saw was an immense placard, 
' Down with Miliukoff.' I walked up to two men who 
were lounging on the barrack-square : 

'"Do you know Miliukoff ? ' 

" ' No, sir ! ' 

" ' Who is he ? ' 

" ' We don't know.' 

" ' What has he done ? " 

" ? ? 

" Other soldiers joined us. 

" ' What, sir, don't you know ? This Miliukoff has 
been to Constantinople ! ' 

" ! ! 

" So there it was ! . . . This afternoon the men went 
out into the streets without even waiting for the decision 
of their committees which were sitting all the time. 
What was their idea ? It is not very difficult to imagine. 
About a quarter of the garrison went out while the rest 
refused to leave barracks. When they reached the 
Marie Palace I went down and spoke to them, and after 
some time they went back. During the day the 1st 
Guard Regiment of the Naval Corps sent word to tell 
me that they were ready to hold the Marie Palace Square 
in force to protect the Government, but fortunately there 
was no need to call on them." 

The general went on to give me details of the re- 



organization of the Petrograd garrison, which had 
hitherto comprised only the d6p6ts of the Guard regi- 
ments at the front. A Petrograd and a Finland army 
were both to be formed. 

A message came for the general while we were talk- 
ing, a message of an urgent nature to the effect that 
the garrison of Tsarskoie-Selo had been under arms 
since morning and had declared its intention of recog- 
nizing the Government as the sole authority, the Council 
of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates being only an 
organ of control. 

This piece of news, which was promptly communicated 
to the Conference, seemed to me likely to do a good 
deal to cool the hotheads among the members of the 
Committee. It was impossible to say how long the 
sitting would last, and having ascertained that the 
Censor would not allow any telegrams to be issued until 
the crisis was over, I went home to bed. Next morning 
I heard from my colleagues who stayed on, that when 
the Conference broke up at four o'clock, the members 
of the Government came out gloomy and exhausted, 
while the members of the Committee seemed remarkably 
pleased with themselves. 

The odd thing is, that the impression formed by my 
colleagues was the very opposite of the truth. The 
Government had won a striking victory. 

Friday, 21 April-4> May. 

I WAS told on waking this morning that the Committee 
had capitulated. I can't help thinking that the arrival 
of the delegates from the garrison of Tsarskoie-Selo 
must have had something to do with their decision, 
but, however that may be, the fact remained that they 
now supported the Government's note to the Allies, 



explaining that the particular expressions which had 
caused doubt in the minds of many had been taken 
from the vocabulary of diplomacy, and were not as clear 
as the situation required. It could hardly be questioned 
that the words " sanctions and guarantees " were 
referred to. 

What really had happened ? The Committee had 
thrown down the gauntlet with the intention which I 
have explained. No doubt is possible on this point. 
They had organized manifestations, set on foot agi- 
tations in the barracks and sent hordes of workmen 
and soldiers into the streets. On top of all this they 
had noisily summoned a general assembly of the Council 
for six in the evening. They were out to overawe the 
Government, compel the resignation of Miliukoff, and 
the withdrawal of the note to the Allies. If the Govern- 
ment resisted, they intended to bring about its fall. 
For who would believe that their grandiloquent pre- 
parations for the fray were nothing but an idle threat ? 
Now the whole Government had rallied to the support 
of Miliukoff, and declared themselves in agreement 
with him. So far from obeying the Committee's 
summons to appear before the Council, they had actually 
invited the Committee to attend a conference in the 
evening with them. 

At this Conference the Government explained the 
situation, as I have said. They then turned to the 
Committee and came straight to the point : 

" If you want power, take it. If you want us to go 
we will make way for you. But now, at any rate, you 
know in what conditions you will have to govern. You 
know the external position, and how we stand with 
regard to our Allies. We have kept nothing concealed 
from ] you. Take power, and with it all our 



This brief ultimatum came like a douche of cold water 
to the hotheads of the Committee. Its members quickly 
calmed down, and those who were capable of reflection 
suddenly realized the colossal difficulties and obstacles 
with which they would be faced. Would the Army 
support them ? What about the provinces and the 
Allies ? This thought made them hesitate, and before 
they could even begin to resolve their doubts, in the 
fifth act of the tragedy, the delegates from the Tsarskoie- 
Selo garrison arrived. 

It was the last straw and the Committee hastily beat 
a retreat, abandoning the ground and trying to put the 
best face on their discomfiture. The odd thing is that 
the struggle had been so long, keen and enervating 
that even in the hour of triumph the members of the 
Government failed to realize that they had won. I 
spoke to several of them during the day, and they did 
not seem to appreciate the magnitude of their victory. 
They were just a bundle of nerves, physically and 
mentally exhausted, and hardly able to keep awake. 
No wonder they failed to see the foe in flight. 

" All the same," I said, " the Committee were bent 
on the resignation of Miliukoff. He is still a Minister. 
They intended the withdrawal of the note. You have 
not withdrawn it." 

This Friday, another day heavy with tragedy, pub- 
lished the victory of the Government to all the world. 
After lunching at home with Albert Thomas, Pilenko 
and others, I went out towards the Nevsky about half- 
past three. When I reached the Catherine Canal, I 
saw something which carried my thoughts back to 
March llth and 12th, a flight of panic-stricken cabs 
leaving the Nevsky. I met several anarchists, con- 
spicuous by their sinister bandits' faces, their heads 
hung low on their breasts and their rifles slung over 



their shoulders. In the Michael Square a great crowd 
was in mad flight. 

What had happened ? Some said that armed 
Leninists had fired on the mob, causing several deaths. 
A squad of workmen the famous Red Guard passed 
in ranks with rifles and revolvers. This sight bode no 
good to anyone. Did it mean the long-advertised 
descent of the suburbs on the Nevsky Prospect ? The 
only hopeful feature of the affair was that these wreckers 
had anything but a look of triumph on their faces. In 
its place was an expression of sullen defiance, the after- 
math of defeat. At that moment they looked hardly 
bold or stout enough to conquer and sack a city. Yet 
they had set out to be the masters of the hour. They 
alone had arms. Who could resist them ? And now 
they were slinking off, their hearts having failed them. 

I got to Fontanka and entered the Nevsky. It was 
a clear, sunny day and there was a large crowd, gay and 
careless. No one seemed to be worrying in the least 
over what had just happened, and was equally likely 
to happen again any minute. These hours of revolution 
on the immense Nevsky Prospect were like nothing so 
much as March weather a hailstorm, then a burst of 
bright sunshine followed by a merciless shower, after 
which the sky clears again. Everyone wore a happy 
smile on that thoroughfare where the bullets had been 
whistling and blood flowing only a few minutes earlier. 
QAn hour later there were enthusiastic demonstrations 
in favour of the Government. Motor vans passed full 
of soldiers, officers and civilians bearing banners in the 
Government's honour. The crowd waved their hats, 
and from one end of the Prospect to another a mighty 
cheer for the Provisional Government went up. Pro- 
cessions, manned indiscriminately by employers and 
employees, the middle and working classes, soldier* 



and civilians, formed up and proceeded to the Marie 
Palace, where the best of all demonstrations was in 
progress. It warmed one's heart to hear cries of : 
" Get on with the War ! Long live the Government ! 
Long live the Allies ! " after the shameful incitements 
to betrayal which had for so long resounded in our ears. 
The armed Leninists had disappeared. 

The members of the Executive Committee of the 
Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates were 
thoroughly alarmed at the news that there had been 
deaths on the Nevsky. Did people think they could 
help themselves promiscuously to rifles and ammuni- 
tion ? Was this their dream of fraternity ? The rifles 
had vanished, andjat the first shot these idealists were 
stunned and^exasperated, at a loss what to do next. 
Their confusion was so complete that at the general 
meeting of the Council the struggle with the Govern- 
ment was quite forgotten. The restoration of order 
and internal peace was the sole subject of debate, and 
a resolution in favour of the Government was carried 
by a huge majority. 

In the evening the Committee placarded Petrograd 
with fervent appeals to soldiers and civilians to keep 
within doors. These curious documents ran as follows : 


At the moment when the destiny of our country is at stake, ill- 
considered action of any kind may be disastrous. The manifesta- 
tions resulting from the Government's note on foreign policy have 
led to disturbances in the streets and there have been victims, both 
killed and wounded. 

In the name of the security of the Revolution and the dangers 
threatening it on all sides we make this fervent appeal to you. 
Maintain peace, order and discipline ! 

The Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates is dealing with 
the situation. Do not fear. They will find means to procure the 
fulfilment of your wishes. But for the moment let nothing disturb 
the peaceful current of the life*of free Russia ! 




In these alarming days do not appear armed in the streets unless 
the Executive Committee so direct you. The Executive Committee 
alone has the right to give you orders. All orders to soldiers to go 
out into the streets (except routine orders) must be on the Executive 
Committee's paper, bearing their seal and signed by at least two of 
the seven persons following : Tchkeidze, Skobelef, Binassik, Fili- 
povski, Skalof, Goldman, Bogdanof. Any order can be verified by 
telephone No. 104-06. 


Your arms must only be used for the defence of the Revolution! 
They are useless at meetings and demonstrations where they are 
only a menace to liberty. Leave your arms behind when you take 
part in demonstrations and meetings ! 

The Executive Committee asks all organizations for their assist- 
ance in maintaining peace and order. 

No act of violence against a citizen can be permitted in free Russia. 

Disturbances only benefit the enemies of the Revolution and they 
who provoke them are the enemies of the people. 

Executive Committee of the Council of 

Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates. 

21 April. 

WE were living in such amazing times that hardly any- 
one expressed any astonishment that the Executive 
Committee should thus be giving orders to the military 
and civil population. Its word was law in the barracks, 
and more than law in the streets. The need of authority 
which these great overgrown children have always 
felt, their natural craving for a master and native in- 
stinct for obedience, were so deeply engrained in their 
character that it was a positive relief to them to hear 
a real voice of command at last. It would have been 
better if the voice had been that of the Government, 
but as the latter had abdicated, they were pleased to find 
a vigorous and stentorian substitute. 

177 12 


While I was writing these notes at a late hour, I heard 
that there had been another sanguinary scuffle in the 
street at the corner of the Nevsky and the Sadovoya. 
The " Red Guard " had fired again, and this time, as 
luck would have it, killed several unarmed soldiers, 
hapless victims who fell by the bullets extracted from 
their own rifles which they had handed over to the 

Such were the two " days " through which we had 
passed. We shall soon see the results that flowed from 
them and whether the Government knew how to make 
use of their victory. 

From the point of view of picturesque history and 
human interest, the events of these last two days could 
not be excelled. This people which had hitherto known 
nothing but the chains of slavery and the whip of 
oppression, became absolutely intoxicated with its new- 
won freedom. The greatest joy of every Russian now 
was to take part in a procession with a banner above 
him, perhaps an orchestra ahead of him and thousands 
of cheering spectators on either side of him. The street 
had become his universe. He tapped his heels proudly 
on the pavement and walked with his head up. After 
all, he had his fellow-countrymen for an audience, and 
his head was full of the idea that he was carrying a part 
of the national sovereignty about with him. 

But his pleasures did not stop there. There was the 
unforgettable delirium of speechifying at the top of 
his voice to groups at the street corners, of ascending 
the doorsteps of houses and climbing lamp-posts at the 
risk of his neck to get well above his audience, of ex- 
pounding such notions as he possessed, unburdening his 
soul and preaching his little gospel. This was at least 
worth living for ! So the town fairly hummed with 



meetings in which discussion was heated. Men went 
on from one to another and talked and talked until 
their voices vanished. Then it was almost as great 
a pleasure to hear others talk, especially when they 
were trying to convince you ! The Russian lets him- 
self be convinced on the spot. There is nothing he 
likes more than a new set of convictions. It is just 
as if you made him a present of a brand-new soul. He 
walks twenty yards further and meets a new proposition, 
conflicting with the last. But he accepts it at once. 
Then a third ! . . . the more the merrier ! Just think 
how rich he is getting ! 

On the Nevsky, where I had gone with two young 
Frenchwomen who were telling me their experiences, 
I was stopped by some soldiers, so gentle, so simple ! 

" These ladies speak very well," they said to me. 
" Perhaps they have something they could tell us ? " 

What an extraordinary and fascinating thing this 
thirst for information was. And yet the first feeling 
of these new citizens was one of helpless ignorance of 
everything, so that the craze for drawing on the superior 
wisdom of others was very touching. ... I tried to 
believe this evening that all these great soldier boys 
were just like my wise old izvostchik of yesterday, and 
that reason and good sense would triumph in the 
end. . . . 

I will end my record of these two stirring days with 
an account of a little incident I witnessed on the Nevsky. 

A soldier, lounging along with his hands in his pockets, 
met a general and saluted him in slap-dash fashion. The 
general stopped him and took him gently on one side : 

" My friend. You know you are not obliged to salute 
me. But if you do so, it would be better to salute more 

The soldier blushed patently, brought his hand sharply 

179 12* 


to his cap and replied in accordance with usage now 
abolished : 

" Certainly, Your Excellency ! " 

Pivoting on his right foot, he swung round, clicked 
his heels and executed the fine salute reserved, until 
lately, for generals. 

Meanwhile, a crowd had gathered round. 
" What's the matter ? " 
" It's an officer bullying a soldier." 
A policeman was summoned. He was a little Jew, 
and wasted no time on laying hands on the general. 
" What were you doing ? " 

The general gave him a reasoned and accurate account 
of what had happened, while the soldier stood at atten- 
tion. When the general had finished, he saluted, 
stepped out to the guardian of the peace, and spoke 
thuswise : 

" If Your Excellency will allow me, I will send this 
scurvy Jew flying." 

The crowd burst into laughter and cheered vociferously. 
That was the Russian soldier all over. When his 
officer knows how to treat him, he will follow to the 
ends of the earth. 

I may note here one of the most striking char- 
acteristics of Russian life during the first weeks of the 
Revolution. Our emancipated Russian who has pro- 
cessed through all the streets and attended all the 
meetings has not exhausted all the possibilities of the 
new era. It remained for him to form a committee ! 

Forming a committee is the supreme function of 
every free citizen of the new Russia. An individual is 
an impotent unit while he stands by himself, but once 
let him be attached to other isolated units to form a 
committee and he becomes a force and can make him- 
self heard as the mouthpiece of an organization. 



" The President of the Committee," " The Secretary 
of the Committee ! " How well it sounds ! What 
an improvement to the visiting card. Just think of 
the weight it gives him in public affairs. A quorum of 
three is required for a committee, which must have a 
president, a secretary and members . . . though one 
will do. Each of the thirty thousand inhabitants of 
Petrograd has its committee of tenants with an elected 
president. The whole town has been partitioned among 
committees. The supreme attraction of committees is 
that they are not exclusive. You can belong to any 
number and enjoy a plurality of presidencies. Who is 
he so humble as not to be president of at least one 
committee ? 

Thus, in the early days of the Revolution, some went 
from committee to committee, proud to feel themselves 
responsible citizens who would flinch from nothing in 
the cause of duty. 

22 April-5 May. 

I HAD an hour with General Korniloff this day, and it 
need hardly be said that the subject of our conversation 
was the tragic events of the last two days and the 
situation which has resulted from them. 
. I asked him how it came about that on the previous 
evening the Executive Committee, in its appeal to the 
civil and military population, were able to declare that 
the soldiers should not leave barracks except on their 
written orders, and that if any other orders were issued, 
they should verify their origin by telephoning to the 

He then gave me the history of his dispute with the 
Committee in the afternoon of May 3rd (when he issued 
orders to dependable troops to occupy the Winter Palace 
Square), and the subsequent decision of the Committee 



to substitute their authority for his and to issue the 
appeal which adorned the walls of the capital later. 

Was not all this the logical consequence of the 
famous Prikase to the soldiers published by the Council 
on March 15th ? 

The general continued : 

" I went out on to the Nevsky. A demonstration in 
favour of the Government was in progress. Motor- 
vans with cargoes of soldiers, students and officers were 
passing, with banners in honour of the Provisional Govern- 
ment. I was recognized and received with cheers. 
While I was there someone came to tell me that a body of 
soldiery and some Leninists were assembled, armed 
with machine-guns, on the Champ de Mars. I made up 
my mind to lose no time in getting there, and as I had not 
my car we set off in two motor-lorries, flying appropriate 
banners. As we were passing the Preobrajensky Barracks 
some of the guards recognized me, and stopped us. 

" ' Don't go there, sir ! ' they said. ' They're a bad 
crowd down there : Leninists and such-like, who won't 
hesitate to fire.' 

" But I meant to go, and sure enough, at the corner of 
the Champ de Mars, I found several hundred soldiers and 
civilians gathered in the cemetery. My lorry, gay with 
its banners, advanced a little further, then stopped, and I 
got out. I went straight up to the soldiers and started 
to speak to them. 

" ' Well, brothers. What are you doing ? ' 

" But almost before I could get the words out the 
civilians interrupted and one of them called out : 

" ' He's a provocateur.' 

" ' What ! ' I said. ' I'm a Russian general, and there's 
not a man here who doesn't know me. I'm going to 
speak to them.' 

" The soldiers then made the civilians keep silence 



while I spoke to them. They gave me a good hearing, and 
then dispersed, taking their machine-guns back to 

" That evening, as you know, there was further fighting 
in the Nevsky and more soldiers were killed." 

I asked the general if the troops recognized the 
authority of the Committee. 

" Yes," he answered. " These gentlemen have got 
authority all right. They have been elected by the 
soldiers and their propaganda work is increasing. I 
have a few good regiments, but there are others over 
which I have no control at all unless I am actually on the 
spot. My position is intolerable. . . I was happy enough 
at the front, in command of a fine Army Corps ! . . and 
here I am in Petrograd, a hotbed of anarchy, with a mere 
shadow of authority. How many times have I sent in 
my resignation ? They refused to accept it. The 
Government wants me to stay and the Council won't 
hear of my going. I said to the Executive Committee : 

' Gentlemen ! How can you expect me to stay ? 
I give an order. You countermand it, and it is you who 
are obeyed ! . . . What becomes of me and my authority ? 
The only solution of the problem is this. If you want to 
command the Petrograd Army you must select one of 
your number as its chief. He shall have all power and 
responsibility. As for me, I shall only be too delighted 
to return to the front.' 

" But these Committee gentlemen wouldn't have it. 
They wanted to direct everything while themselves re- 
maining in the background. They wouldn't let me go, 
for they felt that anarchy was spreading, and even though 
I had only nominal authority this semblance of power 
was necessary. If the troops lost their general it would 
mean still more anarchy. So I was not to be allowed 
to go ! 



" I have stood a good deal, but can I stand more ? 
No, I shall go ! ... These gentlemen are in a mortal 
funk. They see that they can no longer control the forces 
they have let loose. Even at this moment their authority 
is the subject of violent dissensions. 

" There is no discipline or serious organization in the 
Socialist party. Lenin is at work. He has money, 
plenty of it, and is busy inciting the violent elements. 
He gets an audience, even in the barracks. I have some 
good regiments, the Volintzi, for example, which have 
closed their doors against Leninist agitators. But others, 
such as the 180th and the Pavlovtzi, receive them with 
open arms and the situation gets worse every day. When 
I am actually with a regiment, even a disaffected one, I 
get a good reception and hearing. But as soon as my 
back is turned they're all crowding round agitators. 
The officers are not always up to their work, but at 
the front, if they're good, the men will follow them 

" Unfortunately two years of war have made terrible 
ravages in the ranks of the professional officers. How 
many of them are left ? The best have long been dead. 
The present regimental officers are praporstchiks (tempo- 
rary officers) students, and other young men of the 
Liberal classes, who have had a few months' training at 
the War Academy. They are not real officers and the 
men are right in seeing in them only civilians dressed up. 
Our army is an army of praporstchiks. Discipline is 
vanishing, vanishing. . . . Yes, the situation is very 

We spoke of the workmen going about armed. I 
said : " General, don't these recent occurrences give you 
a new argument with which to influence the men and the 
Executive Committee ? Can't you say something like 
this to the men : ' The workmen are firing on you ! 


The ancient fortress of Ramenetz-Podolsk, formerly Turkish. 
Albert Thomas, accompanied by General Walsh and Colonel Langlois. 

[To face p. 185. 


They could not do so unless they possessed the rifles they 
took from you.' They must give them up, and you must 
find men with enough conviction of the plain truth of the 
situation to support you, if necessary, by force. Yon 
could say to the Committee : ' You see what's happened. 
You remember the panic you were in when you heard 
there had been shooting. It is you who have the power, 
so why do you leave thirty thousand rifles in the hands 
of a body of evilly-disposed workmen, anarchists and 
Leninists ? If you don't disarm them you may expect 
many days of bloodshed in Petrograd, the responsibility 
for which will fall on you and you alone, the elected heads 
of the proletariat of the capital.' In this question you 
ought to have the support of the whole Press, except two 
or three papers. The whole Press should unite to compel 
the Council to disarm the workmen and to bring home to 
its members their responsibility for any bloodshed in 
Petrograd. Unfortunately, general, your Press is no 
more organized than your political parties. There is no 
sense of unity or interdependence. They all work on 
their own. But it is not thus that victories are won." 

The general answered : 

" I have already raised the question of the disarming 
of the rioters. I took the matter up with the Council, 
and in particular pointed out that the rifles were wanted 
for my men. The Council hedged. They are afraid of 
two developments. They do not like disarming the 
Revolutionary Party, which they represent, but further, 
they are mortally afraid of being flouted if they order the 
return of the weapons. As I have said, the Council is 
beginning to feel itself insecure. In many quarters it is 
without authority, and yet these gentlemen don't seem 
to see that if they assumed power to-morrow they would 
be faced with the same problems and difficulties as con- 
front the Government to-day. And unquestionably the 



outstanding problem and difficulty is the disarming of 
the anarchists, who are masters of the capital at the 
moment, thanks to their rifles." 

Sunday, 23 April-6 May. 

THE Executive Committee denied that they had conducted 
an agitation in the barracks on the previous Thursday in 
order to incite the soldiers against the Government. 
Yet this same Sunday, Maxim Gorki's organ, The New 
Life, came out, with an article by Citizen Linde, member 
of the Executive Committee for the Viborg quarter, in 
which he described how, on the morning of May 31st, 
he had visited the barracks and stirred up the men to 
come out and support the Committee in its tussle with the 
Government. The Executive Committee had evidently 
forgotten to tell Comrade Linde that after their unantici- 
pated defeat they had decided to deny the charge of 
agitating in the barracks. 

How did the Government use its victory ? Nothing. 
Silence. Nothing ! No single act. Not even a pro- 
clamation ! 

At last I realized that the Government, like Roland's 
mare, had every quality, but was, unfortunately, 

I met D . I had a good deal to say of the members 

of the Government, with some of whom he had formerly 
had personal and political relations. 

" They are not politicians at all," he said. " Their 
public careers have been passed in the Zemstvos. There's 
no doubt that they are first-rate managers, industrious, 
honest, and good organizers in subordinate positions. 
But managers need a directing head. Where do you find 
such a head now ? Where is the man who commands 
and is obeyed ? Personally I can't see him." 




27 April-10 May. 

THE Government could govern no longer, and yester- 
day issued a declaration demanding the participation 
of members of the Executive Committee in the task 
of administration. To-day, at the formal session of 
the members of the four Dumas, Ministers had the 
experience of hearing themselves called " autocrats." 
Poor autocrats, bound hand and foot and little more than 
puppets in the hands of the irresponsible leaders of the 
Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates ! 

This time, Prince Lvof addressed a note to Tchkeidze 
and Rodzianko summoning the Socialists to share supreme 

It was not the first time. 

When the Provisional Government was formed, on the 
very first day of the Revolution, office was offered to 
certain Socialists. The Comrades declined the honour. 
In this connection it is enough to recall the interesting 
disclosures of one of them (Stieklov) in a speech in which 
the world was informed that the Social-Democratic party 
had been utterly surprised by the Revolution (another 
proof of the fact, on which I have already insisted, that 
the great event was spontaneous and not the handiwork 
of any party), and was therefore quite unable to take 
power. Certainly the Social Democrats preferred the 
friendly obscurity of the lobby. They made themselves 
masters of the Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Dele- 
gates and tyrannized over the Government from the 

Of course they were in clover. They had all real power 



with none of its responsibilities. They were the hidden 
masters and preserved jealously that right to criticize 
which the Russian cherishes even more than the right 
to rule. 

But now the time had come to decide one way or the 
other. The Government had invited the Council to co- 
operate in the direction of affairs. A refusal would show 
up the Social-Democratic party in a bad light. The 
irresponsible elements of the Council were in a quandary. 
The bourgeois press favoured a Coalition Government. 
Plekhanof supported the idea in the Edinstvo, but 
Tchkeidze, Tseretelli and Dann sniffed suspiciously at the 
offer made to them. The Maximalists, of course, could 
only recite their recognized formula : " All power in the 
hands of the Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Dele- 

April 28-May 11. 

THE Social Democrats were still making up their minds. 
I was under the impression that the moving spirit among 
the " objectors " was Tseretelli. He was certainly the 
most intelligent. This man, who has spent ten years in 
Siberia, an ex-member of the second Duma, a Georgian 
with the pale, drawn face of a Greco, seems to have the 
best head of the whole Council. His speeches have a 
decision and snap about them which is conspicuously 
absent from the discursive pathos of his colleagues. 
But even supposing he has character and an instinct of 
statesmanship, what then ? Where has he come from ? 
Siberia, and ten weary years of exile. His experience of 
life is nil. His knowledge is the bookworm's. He is 
perfectly familiar with Karl Marx and other writers, but 
of the knowledge gained by direct contact with men and 
affairs he has none. What notion of love of country has 
he ? He is a Caucasian and comes from an ancient race 



which fell on evil days and in the seventeenth century 
was subject to the Shahs of Persia. Georgia has only 
been Russian for rather more than fifty years. Tseretelli 
has no Russian connections. Not that that matters, for 
your " Internationalist " sees the world and Society 
through formulae. Class warfare is one, " the Inter- 
nationale " another. 

He was now on the threshold of power. The time for 
formulae had passed, and fearsome realities had to be 
faced. Before him was the Russian Empire ; 160,000,000 
people of different races, still only half welded to- 
gether under the Imperial hammer, a vague mass, prac- 
tically uneducated and only emerged from serfdom 
within the last fifty years ; a working class only just 
born, weak in numbers as in influence, without organiza- 
tion or discipline ; a peasantry strong in numbers but 
amorphous, chaotic, and without leaders. And it was this 
uneducated and inorganic proletariat which formed the 
congregation of the preachers of class wars and (so ran 
the formula) must take all power into its own hands. 

Tseretelli's quick wits told him at once that the peasan- 
try and working classes of Russia were totally incapable of 
governing the Empire, even if the conditions of the time 
had been favourable to the experiment, that is, even if 
Russia had been at peace. But Russia was at war. This 
was the plain truth, and no Social-Democrat in the world 
could alter the fact. The war ! Yes, there was the " In- 
ternationale " and the dream of Universal Brotherhood, 
the old romance on which the Socialists of all countries have 
brought up their adherents, though the sound of guns 
has dispelled it often enough. 

There is no question that in the first days of the Revolu- 
tion the only cry that went up from Russia was a cry for 
peace. A passionate desire for peace was universal. 
The fearful suffering, the terrible toll of human life, the 



appalling internal difficulties which were the direct product 
of the war, the shortage of supplies, the transport crisis, 
the amazing rise in price of the most elementary neces- 
sities, the semi- starvation of the great cities all these 
legacies of the collapse of autocracy made men every- 
where hope fervently that the Revolution meant peace. 

But a Tseretelli, to whom Universal Brotherhood is a 
dogma, knows quite well that for some time longer this 
dogma must lie on the shelf with the books which preach 
it. Russia was invaded. She was allied with the Powers 
of Western Europe with whom she had formal agreements, 
whose money and munitions she had freely received, with 
whom she could not break without grave danger of finding 
herself the vassal of Germany. 

But if he took power and supported the war, who would 
back him ? 

In this respect, at least, the policy of the Russian Social- 
Democratic Party, however tentative as to means, must 
be admitted to have been perfectly decided as to ends. 
They wanted peace, and as it could not be reached by a 
separate peace, they mean to obtain it by understanding 
with all the countries involved in the struggle. They 
seriously believed that a lasting peace could be realized 
by persuasion. A chimerical notion which I cannot think 
Tseretelli ever shared. But what were his alternatives ? 
Even if he were convinced that peace could only be 
reached through the defeat of Germany, how could this 
apostle of Pacifism and Internationalism be expected to 
advocate an intense and aggressive war against the 
armies of the Kaiser ? Tseretelli was far too intelligent 
not to know that the very same obstacles that had faced 
Tsarism would have to be faced and surmounted by the 
Revolutionary Government which had succeeded it. 
Order had to be restored in the country. The peasantry 
had to be persuaded to give up their corn. The town 



populations had to be fed and the transport chaos reme- 
died. And Tseretelli knew equally well that they were 
faced with problems of their own. The Revolution had 
roused the most extravagant hopes and ambitions among 
the working classes. An industrial crisis was inevitable, 
while a financial crisis was not far off. If the war was to 
continue the Army must obey its orders. Yet no one 
knew better than Tseretelli what had happened to the 
Army after the issue of the famous and irreparable 

So if the Socialist Party took power and Russia went 
to her ruin under their direction of affairs, it would mark 
the eclipse of all their cherished hopes. Social-Democracy 
would merely be a party which had demonstrated its 
patent inability to bring Russia through her troubles. 
Still, it seemed essential that they should join the Govern- 
ment. A refusal might have the most disastrous results. 
The bourgeoisie would be able to say to the country : 
" Here are your Socialists. They want to be the master, 
but they won't take any responsibility. They are in- 
capable and they know it." 

Tseretelli reflected. 

28 April-ll May. 

A LEADER in the Den this morning showed that I have in 
no wise exaggerated as to the universality and intensity 
of peace feeling in Russia. The Den is a Radical-Socialist 
organ, and these were its words apropos of Miliukof's 
note : 

" ' War to Victory ! ' Yet the military authorities 
do not attempt to hide the fact that it is difficult to speak 
of victory " (no doubt the Den meant with the Army 
disorganized by the Revolution). " We must be bold 
enough to look facts squarely in the face. The War has 
worn itself out and a victory resulting in the defeat of 



German militarism for the greater advantage of British 
militarism is no longer possible. The only possible 
victory is that of the Revolution, and the only way to its 
realization is the adoption, not only by ourselves, but by 
our Allies, of the Provisional Government's note of 
March 27th. Until then there will be no revolution in 

Meanwhile Albert Thomas was employing his brilliant 
political gifts to resolve the crisis and induce the Socialists 
to co-operate in the government. Although many of his 
Russian Socialist colleagues regarded him with some 
suspicion as the Minister of a bourgeois Republic, there is 
no question that his outstanding intellect and breadth of 
vision gave him immense prestige. He worked day and 
night, both in the Government and in the Committee. 

May 1-14. 

GUTCHKOFF, the Minister for War, resigned. The step 
was quite expected. I remember a conversation I had 
with him about a month before which I could not very well 
record at the time. Even then he showed his despair 
of fulfilling the task which had been made utterly impos- 
sible by the measures taken by the Socialists to, as they 
put it, " democratize " the Army. Gutchkoff' s de- 
parture sounded the tocsin, but it must be admitted 
that it facilitated negotiations with the Executive 

All the Socialists were set on the resignation of Miliukoff . 
Kerensky put severe pressure on the Executive Committee, 
but it was the pressure of the orator, nothing else. He is 
a very fascinating, compelling personality, courageous, 
enthusiastic, and possessed by a burning desire to save 
his country. By forty-one votes to nineteen, with two 
abstentions, the Committee voted in favour of partici- 



pating in the government and nominated a commission 
to open negotiations with the Government. 

As I have said, Tseretelli had reflected. He proved 
to the Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates 
the necessity of having a strong army and the Council 
finally voted an appeal to the Army. But Tseretelli 
said nothing of the Prikase to the soldiers and as long as 
the Prikase remained in force I had no hopes of the Army 
being strong. 

At length the interminable negotiations between the 
Government and the Committee came to an end. Tsere- 
telli entered the Ministry and became Minister of Posts 
and Telegraphs. But from the start it was highly un- 
likely that he would step beyond the narrow limits which 
had been assigned to him. Kerensky took over the 
Admiralty and the War Ministry. He was obviously the 
only man with sufficient authority to undertake with any 
prospect of success the fearsome task of combating the 
anarchy reigning in the Army and Navy. Terestchenko 
took over Miliukoff's portfolio and Chingaref went to 
the Ministry of Finance. The Socialist members of the 
Government were Chernoff (Agriculture), Skobelef 
(Labour), Perevertseff (Justice), and Pschechekonoff 


SOME time ago the Pravda discovered a new method 
of obtaining the eagerly-desired peace. This method 
was the fraternization of the Russian and German 
soldiers at the front, Pravda invited us to witness the 

193 13 


touching (and shameful) spectacle of the Russian soldiers 
leaving their trenches, going over to the enemy's trenches, 
embracing their German brothers, drinking spirits with 
them and talking about peace. It will be admitted that 
the method was ingenious, practical, direct and effective. 
It required no tedious negotiations and no diplomatists. 
It left Allies on one side, involved no delays and went 
straight to the point, like a shell. 

One might well have thought it was an evil scheme of 
the Pravda to induce the troops to lay down their arms, or 
a low trick of the anarchists to complete the disorganiza- 
tion of the Army, or even a mere chance appeal destined 
for the front, but which would never get there. 

But it was nothing of the kind. 

From all parts of the front the alarm was sounded. 
The men were fraternizing with the Germans. The 
method of procedure seemed to be something like this. 
A white flag was hoisted in the German trenches. The 
Russian soldiers, naively trustful and not without reason, 
left their trenches and went forward through the barbed 
wire. The Germans came out to meet them. Often 
enough they had officers with them and every man who 
could speak Russian was there. General conversation 
followed. If there was difficulty in making themselves 
understood they produced proclamations printed in 
Russian at some German staff headquarters and running 
like this : 

" Germany loves Russia. She welcomes the Revolu- 
tion and greets the Russian soldier. Why go on fighting ? 
Why shed more blood ? Has not the war lasted long 
enough already ? Are we not all exhausted by our 
sufferings ? Let us stop fighting and have a truce until 
the peace comes which our Governments will sign to- 
morrow. Don't fire on us any more, and we won't fire 
on you. Make friends with us. We are your brothers." 



The simple Russian soldier was not proof against such 
an appeal. 

" What ! These fellows who were massacring us yes- 
terday want to be friends to-day and call us their brothers ! 
. . . Our officers have fooled us. ... They are Socialists 
like ourselves and we who made the Revolution have 
proved right ! It's true that all men are brothers." 

And off he went to the German trenches. As luck 
would have it they found vodka there, and vodka, too, was 
a brother, a brother whose cheery countenance had not 
been seen for a long time. Vodka soon overcame what 
slight further objections presented themselves and 
sodden conscience soon gave its last twinge. The 
Russian soldier is a confiding creature who readily walks 
into the snare. 

After a short time he came back to his own lines, 
staggering a little, but bursting with a new enthusiasm. 

" These Germans ! After all what a fine lot ! . . . 
What good-hearted chaps ! As soon as ever we had our 
Revolution they come across and call us their friends. 
They didn't mind firing on the soldiers of the Tsar, but 
now we are free men they call us their friends and give us 

But there was something else. The Russian soldier 
had seen the German trenches, dry, warm, well barri- 
caded and duck-boarded. He had seen acres of wire 
like a virgin fortress and machine-guns innumerable 
in armoured shelters. He said to himself : " These 
chaps are awfully strong. It would be madness to 
attack such a place. We should only get knocks for our 
pains, and it's a stroke of luck that we've made peace 
in time. Peace for ever ! " 

The German game was obvious. On the very morning 
after the bloody Stokhod affair, the Government had 
published an apology to the Russian Government in the 

195 13* 


North German Gazette. Really, it was a most un- 
fortunate business. Nothing was further from their 
intentions than to do an injury, however slight, to the 
brave Russians in Revolution. The local military 
leaders had acted without instructions, and shown a 
lamentable want of tact. They had been censured. 
Fresh orders had been issued to the Army : " Do not 
attack, but open friendly relations with the Russians." 
Without delay trainloads of vodka sped from the 
interior to the Eastern front. 

It does not take a genius to fool the simple-minded 
Russian peasant soldier. He was tired of the war and 
longing for peace. The instinct of patriotism was rare 
with him, and his sole concern was to get back to his 
farm. He knew he could get home to his native village 
in one, two, three, four or ten days. How could the 
Germans ever get there ? Had he anything to risk ? 
Had he ever experienced an invasion ? This big 
primitive creature overflowed with universal sympathy 
and forgot how to hate. Pity, combined with a nebulous 
vision of Brotherhood, captured his head and his heart. 
Pity has always been the deepest instinct of the Russian 
nature. Tolstoy's detestable philosophy is true Russian 
philosophy. This people has never had a Spinoza, 
never reads him, and would not understand him if they 
did. So in the terrible whirlpool of war they soon lost 
their reason, and the first appeal to " Brotherhood " 
found a ready response. 

They could think of nothing else, neither of the dead 
without number, who had given their lives for the 
country, nor of the Allies who were bleeding daily for 
Russia. They failed to realize that for every embrace 
of a German " brother " a French or English soldier 
fell on the Western front. They did not, or would not, 
know that since fraternization began, three hundred 



and fifty thousand men had left the German lines to 
fight on the battle-fields of Champagne and Arras. 
They never stopped to consider what kind of peace 
victorious Germany would impose on vanquished Russia, 
nor the prospect of long and inglorious servitude which 
it implied. They neither knew nor understood. . . . 
The vision was too distant for them. They could only 
see what was going on before their eyes the German 
soldiers, hitherto so terrible an enemy, were now their 
friends and offered them vodka. 

The officers were panic-stricken and tried to :{ hide 
themselves for shame. Generals groaned and Army 
Commanders published orders. The War Office sounded 
the alarm and the Government issued an Appeal, 
followed by a second and a third. Many eloquent pro- 
clamations went forth, and even the Council of Work- 
men's and Soldiers' Delegates bestirred itself and forbade 
fraternization. But the Russian soldier continued to 
gaze affectionately at the German trenches where the 
white flag waved and Hans beckoned. 

It soon appeared that the whole army had lost its 
head. As an example of the prevalent state of affairs, 
I will mention something that happened at Dvinsk, 
contenting myself with a bald statement of facts. 

German officers came out of their trenches, armed 
only with a bugle and a white flag, and accompanied 
by their orderlies. They were led to the Russian lines. 
There they asked to be taken to headquarters. Cars 
were immediately sent out for them and the officers 
were blindfolded. The General commanding the Dvinsk 
Army decided to receive these gentlemen. He sum- 
moned the regimental and divisional committees, and 
when they were all assembled, the Germans, duly pro- 
vided with interpreters, made speeches to the effect 
that they had come to negotiate peace. They elaborated 



reasons why an immediate peace should be made between 
Russia and Germany. When they were asked for their 
authority (if the question had been put at the start, 
this scandalous incident need never have occurred), it 
was discovered that they had no authority. Then they 
suggested that while waiting for the peace which would 
not be long in coming, a neutral zone should be estab- 
lished between the lines where Russians and Germans 
could meet as brothers. They were subsequently 
escorted back to their own lines. 

I confess I thought I was dreaming when an officer of 
the Dvinsk Army told me this. It seemed utterly 
incredible that the entire staff of the 5th Army had not 
produced a general strong enough to prevent such a 
scandal. I said to myself : " There is nothing men 
won't invent in these crazy times ! " 

But I was wrong. Two days later the press pub- 
lished a communique from Alexeief setting forth the 
facts I have just related, and adding that the Germans 
had been received expressly to show the soldiers that 
they were without authority. But if Alexeief hoped 
to convince the troops by this exposure, he was soon 
undeceived. The same officer told me that the men 
retained only one impression of the incident. They 
believed their own eyes and ears, and the truth was that 
the Germans had come to talk about peace. The ques- 
tion of " authority " was an abstract one which went 
beyond their understanding. " That," they said, " is 
what our officers are always saying. We don't believe 
a word of it. But it was easy enough to understand what 
the Germans said." 




2-15 May. 

THE Russian Revolution had a very poor vocabulary, 
and that mainly borrowed. It drew its jargon from 
French sources, which it seemed to find inexhaustible. 
As a rule, it did not trouble even to translate French 
words, but took them haphazard and unrussified. There 
was no word for " revolution," so it talked about 

The peace formula with which it has familiarized the 
world, itself the supreme expression of Russian demo- 
cratic thought, is expressed by two French words " No 
annexations : no contributions " in Russian, Annexii, 
Contributri. Only Russians with some degree of edu- 
cation know what the words mean. The ordinary 
private soldier does not know. He is quite prepared 
to believe that " Annexii " and " Contributri " are two 
foreign towns which the Imperialists wish him to shed 
his blood to take. So, parrot-like, he took up the cry, 
" No Contributri, no Annexii, no Tzarigrad " (Tzarigrad 
being the Russian name for Constantinople, that bug- 
bear of the Revolutionaries). 

I don't remember hearing anything more ludicrous, 
or more futile, than the disquisitions of the " Intellec- 
tuals " among the Revolutionaries on this subject. 
" Our men," they would say, " are not going to fight 
for Constantinople or Mesopotamia for the English, 
or Alsace-Lorraine for the French, they will attack like 
lions. But until you make that clear, they won't fire 
a shot." 

Now, in the first place, the private soldier to whom 
this line of reasoning is addressed is quite unable to 



follow it. He knows nothing of Tzarigrad, for which 
not a single Russian soldier has given his life. Not 
Russian, but English and French soldiers lie, in their 
thousands, in the tragic peninsula of Gallipoli. Again, 
the Russian peasantry who live by the sale of their 
corn would not lose much time in approving the con- 
quest of Constantinople if they knew anything of the 
history of the last six years. In 1911, Turkey was at 
war with Italy : the Straits were closed and the peasants 
of Southern Russia could not export their corn. In 1912 
and 1913, came the Balkan Wars. Turkey was again 
a combatant, and again the export of corn from Russia 
was prevented. In short, it would not take two minutes* 
argument to convince the most ignorant Russian peasant 
that it is vital for Russia to be mistress of Constantinople 
and the Straits. 

But apart from this there is a much more serious 
flaw in the reasoning of the Russian Social-Democracy. 
It is hopelessly theoretical and out of touch with reality 
at all points. It is the reasoning of a mind that works in a 
vacuum and ignores such trifles as facts and psychology. 

One conspicuous fact is that the Germans are in Russia 
and armed to the teeth. They have every intention of 
attacking. Yet the Russian intellectual sums up the 
situation something like this : 

The soldier in the trenches turns to his officer. 

" Captain, is it true that Miliukoff wants Tzarigrad? " 

If the officer says yes, the man replies : 

" All right. I'm going home for a bit to see my wife." 
And he throws down his rifle and goes off, letting the 
Germans advance. 

But if the officer says : " No, my boy. No annexa- 
tions, no indemnities, no Tzarigrad," the soldier seizes 
his rifle, leaps from the trench, hurls himself upon the 
Germans and smites them hip and thigh. 



I am not exaggerating. This is the kind of rubbish 
the Socialist Press published every day and Socialist 
orators spouted all day long at thousands of street 

But let us continue our examination of the vocabulary 
of the Russian Revolution. It knows the " Proletariat 
" Kapitalism," " Internationalism," " Pacifism," " Chau- 
vinism." It has even borrowed the word bourgeois 
from the French and pronounces it " bourgwee." It has 
its " komitet," " delegat," " Kommissair." In short, it 
lives on the thoughts and acts of others. 

And yet the Russian people has creative force of the 
first order and magnitude. . . . Must one conclude that 
it has never been called in to collaborate in the Revolution 
and that this great movement has been the work, not of 
the people, but of a small group of " Europeanized ' 
intellectuals, without deep roots in the Russian soil ? 

Spinoza, analysing in his Theologico-Political Treatise 
the style of the prophets through whom God has revealed 
himself to the world, shows that each prophet has his 
peculiar method of self-expression, and in a vain effort 
to discover in their words what bears the genuine stamp 
of divine revelation, gravely comes to the conclusion that 
God has no style. 

In the same way, if for the moment I may compare 
small things to great, we should be faced with some 
strange conclusions if we had to judge the spirit of the 
Russian Revolution by its vocabulary. 

May 5-18. 

SUMMONED before a joint sitting of the Government, the 
Executive Committee of the Duma and the Executive 
Committee of the Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' 
Delegates, the Generalissimo Alexeief and the generals 



commanding the four Army Groups gave a faithful picture 
of the deplorable, nay, tragic, condition of the Army. 
They used plain words to the members of the Executive 
Committee of the Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' 
Delegates : " Anarchy is rife in the Army. The men 
have ceased to obey orders. They do not recognize their 
leaders. They have their soldiers' committees which 
acknowledge no authority. Gentlemen, you have taken 
all power away from us and discipline has gone. If you 
do not give us the means to recover what you have robbed 
us of, the Army and Russia are lost." 

Tseretelli and Skobelef were extremely angry and 
heatedly denied the charge. The substance of their 
protest could be put in four lines : 

" What ! You accuse us of destroying discipline ! 
Yet you yourselves admit that the only discipline ob- 
served in the Army is the discipline enforced by our 
soldiers' committees ! " 

First-class sophism. These apostles of Socialism did not 
or would not see that the collapse of the discipline, 
strength and moral of the Army was due to nothing else 
but the substitution of the authority of the amorphous 
and irresponsible committees for that of the military 
leaders. When that was done, what else was needed ? 
The Army was disintegrated. They could not evade their 

It was the Petrograd Council which, on the third day 
of the Revolution, issued the famous " Charter of the 
Soldiers' Rights " of which I have spoken several times 
already. The seed sown that day had duly sprouted and 
the crop by now was healthy and vigorous. The Com- 
mittee itself was alarmed at its own handiwork and 
anxious to disown it. But the facts were there, and 
admitted of no questioning. 

Evil days were upon us. 




May 6-19. 

MAXIM GORKI has always been anxious to play an out- 
standing part in the Revolution, but has hitherto failed. 
This writer, conspicuous for his talents in his sorrow- 
laden youth, has distinguished himself by his infamous 
journalism since he became the proprietor and editor of 
a great newspaper. No one reads his " Intellectual 
Aspects " in his paper, The New Life, and while every 
word of Leonide Andreef makes all Russia thrill with 
emotion, Gorki has never once touched the great heart 
of the nation. 

The New Life is produced, certainly in part, with the 
funds supplied to Gorki by his friend, M. Grube, Presi- 
dent of the Bank of Siberia, and a man of great intelli- 
gence. In pre-revolution days, M. Grube provided him 
with money to carry on a literary and artistic paper, and 
when the Revolution came Gorki kept the money and 
founded his New Life, without Grube's consent. 

This journal is a Maximalist organ which has supported 
Lenin through thick and thin, and thanks to Gorki's 
scandalous trick Grube's money is now used to subsidize 
a journal which attacks " Capitalism " every morning 
and openly advocates civil war. It looks more important 
and has a larger sale than the Pravda, and between them 
these two papers are the strongest weapons of the extrem- 
ists of the Soviet. New Life is considerably more 
scurrilous and venomous than Pravda. 

It will be remembered but more probably not, for 
France has a short memory that a few years back Maxim 
Gorki gratuitously insulted France when he was residing 



in Berlin. " I spit on France," were his words, which 
caused a great sensation. To-day he has a paper and 
" spits on France " daily. He does England the honour 
of putting her in the same boat with France, and hardly 
a day passes without some article in the New Life stirring 
up hatred against the Western Allies. But I defy anyone 
to find in the files of this paper a single word against 
Germany, a single reference to Germany as the enemy ! 
Here is one significant and amusing detail. The New Life 
finds " Petrograd " rather too Russian for its tastes, and 
has resumed the old name of " St. Petersburg," exiled 
at the beginning of the war as too German ! Let no one 
ask any paper of Gorki's to preach war against Germany. 
What I Defeat Germany ! Leave such criminal notions 
as that to the Western Imperialists ! No. The Nezv Life 
is at war with France and England, but enjoys a pleasant 
and prosperous peace with Germany. 

Gorki's story is as sad as strange. In his youth, when 
he had not a penny to his name and wandered homeless 
all over Russia, he wrote in moving terms of the 
" Outcasts " and the " Underworld." Now that he has 
reached his maturity he cares for nought but the prole- 
tariat and spends his time in the drawing-rooms of rich 
bankers. Yet he calls himself an " International 
Socialist," a " Defeatist," if the execrable expression must 
be used, and all his sympathies are with his German 
brothers. The odd thing is that the more Germanophile 
he gets the less like a moujik he looks. He has given up 
the national smock and shaved his beard. His long coat 
and gold spectacles give him a striking resemblance to a 
Herr Professor. 




May 10-23. 

ON May 8-21 Kerensky announced that he would make a 
tour of the front, and I can assure you that I lost no time 
in calling at the War Ministry and knocking at a door 
which was happily the right one. Thus it came about 
that at noon on this Tuesday, May 10-23, I turned up 
at the Imperial entrance of the Tsarskoie-Selo Station, 
from which the War Minister's special train was to start. 
There was no one there except a few officials and officers 
who had reports to present. I must not forget the guard 
of honour, composed of twenty-one men of the Preoba- 
jensky Guard and twenty-one sailors of the Naval Body- 
guard magnificent men all six feet high and more, and 
their breasts glittering with decorations. The train was 
very short, consisting of a grand-ducal saloon for the 
Minister at the back, one first-class carriage, and one third 
for the guard. 


KERENSKY'S suite was anything but pretentious. It 
included Lieutenant-Colonel Baranovski, the Minister's 
Chief of Staff, Colonel Kirkin of the Guard, two prapor- 
stchiks, two non-commissioned officers and two privates 
of a regiment I have forgotten, who kept the accounts 
and did the typing. In addition we had with us two dele- 
gates of the Black Sea Fleet, a naval lieutenant with a 
voice big enough to carry to a crowd of ten thousand 



people, and a private soldier from Sevastopol. These two 
splendid fellows had formed part of the deputation which, 
in the name of the Black Sea Fleet, had brought the 
voice of courage and resolution into the timid counsels 
and pacifist conspiracies of Petrograd. 

I was the only civilian. Not a single colleague to 
support me, and I think I am entitled to congratulate 
myself on this journalistic coup, for Kerensky's first visit 
to the front at this moment of crisis was an outstanding 
event. It was no mystery, of course, that he was going 
to Brussilof's headquarters to preach the offensive and 
try to galvanize the ever-dissolving Army into action. 
It was well-known to be a superhuman task, but he had 
thrown himself into it with the ecstatic joy of a prophet 
for whom obstacles do not exist save to be swept aside. 
" Can faith without deeds be sincere ? " If he succeeded 
in inspiring the great mass of the Army with his own ardent 
spirit the war was as good as won. But if not ? . . . 

His greatest asset was his immense popularity. He 
was obviously the MAN of the Revolution, the first citizen 
of Free Russia. Rejuvenated Russia wanted someone to 
lavish her affection upon, and here was the idol on which all 
her hopes were set. So whatever happened he was certain 
of a good reception ! 

Then again I was leaving Petrograd Petrograd of the 
eternal snow and six months of arctic cold, the Petrograd 
of the Revolution, of our daily fevers and anxieties, our 
brief glimpses of hope and endless vista of unrest. Petro- 
grad would soon be behind me, and before me the South, 
the sun, clear skies, space, far-flung horizons, green grass, 
trees in bud, and gentle warmth. I felt as merry as a 
schoolboy ! . . . 

Kerensky arrived at a quarter-past twelve. He was 
in Russian field-service kit, service-dress cap, tunic and 
belt, brown boots and leggings, without epaulettes. 



It was, in fact, the same uniform that I always wore on 
my visits to the front and was actually wearing then. 
He reviewed the guard of honour, and then we entered 
the train and in a few minutes we were off. 

Kerensky is a young man of medium height, clean- 
shaven and with short, rather thick, fair hair. His nose 
is long and pointed, his complexion pale even ashen 
when he is very tired and his deep blue eyes, though 
peering (he is short-sighted), look straight out at you. 
They are devoid of guile, but none the less, merry, 
twinkling eyes. He has an engaging smile that speaks 
of joy and confidence. His expression is frank and 
generous, and, above all, courageous, the expression of 
a man who is not to be turned from his task and is not 
afraid to speak out, whatever the consequences, or to 
take risks, because risks are the spice of life ; above all, 
he carries about with him an atmosphere of youth 
delicious, spontaneous youth which holds you spell- 
bound with amazement to find it so marked in one who 
might be expected to be bowed down with the weight of, 
the terrible responsibilities resting on his young shoulders. 
Such is Kerensky, the Naval and War Minister of the 
first Government of free and revolutionary Russia, the 
man thrown up by the eruption which has swept away 
the long tyranny of the Romanoffs, the man on whom 
the eyes of the whole world are fixed in this hour of 

He has very poor health, for he once underwent a 
very serious operation. His right hand is swathed up 
and he carried it caught up against his coat. He ought 
really to be taking care of himself in some warm, sunny 
climate on the shores of some southern sea, yet since 
February he has been storm-tossed on the waves of the 
revolutionary tempest which is carrying Russia to some 
unknown destination. Riots and anarchy have no 



terrors for him, for he knows that young Russia's liberty 
cannot be brought to birth without the onset of a fever 
which can make no impression on a healthy organism. 
He has confidence in the rejuvenated forces of the nation, 
in its inherent good sense and inexhaustible kindness of 
heart. He knows quite well that it is credulous, an 
easy tool for the unscrupulous. But he thinks that it is 
sound at the core and will soon get tired of the leading 
of bad shepherds and will turn to him readily. He 
has inexhaustible confidence in the future of this 
country, for which he has the most ardent love, but 
only on condition that every man devotes himself to the 
re-establishment of order and the composition of differ- 
ences. If good will could, by itself, be a Government 
programme, and an efficient substitute for action, 
Kerensky would see his most cherished hopes speedily 
fulfilled. No one dislikes appealing to coercion or 
restraint more fervently than he. Immediately after 
the Revolution he abolished the death penalty. " The 
Revolution shall not mean bloodshed," he said. In 
fact, the refusal to appeal to force was, perhaps, the most 
characteristic feature of the first three months of the 
Revolution. The Parliamentary Government reasoned 
with everybody, whether mutinous soldiers, anarchist 
workmen or towns clamouring for independence. 
Reasoning and persuasion was the motto. The use of 
force was inadmissible. Some said the Government 
would not use force because it had none. Ex nihilo 
nihil fit. However that may be, Kercnsky's favourite 
weapon whether he had others or not was persuasion. 
It was a formidable one in his hands, for none knew 
better how to reach the heart and the head. His 
eloquence had not, perhaps, the beautiful lucidity, the 
sustained and rhythmical phrases peculiar to our Latin 
eloquence. But Pascal once said that " true^eloquence 


Kerensky and General Brussiloff at the General Headquarters 
on the South-East Front. 

[To face p. 

General Brussiloff. 

[To-face p. 209. 


despises eloquence." Kerensky is a master in the art 
of addressing crowds. He knows how to get hold of 
them, to inflame them with his own passions and inspire 
them with his own ideas. He uses abrupt little phrases, 
pithy expressions that go straight to the point. The 
few hours which I spent in his company enlightened 
me completely, I believe, as to the causes of his 
phenomenal success with the masses. He is a man of 
the greatest courage, who never dodges difficulties, but, 
if necessary, provokes them. He always goes straight 
to the obstacle and never flatters his audience. Every- 
one in Russia remembers his historic phrase at the 
Petrograd congress of delegates from the front : " Are 
we a people of revolted slaves ? " On another occasion 
he said : " What have you done to win the amazing 
liberty you now enjoy, liberty you wouldn't dare to 
have dreamed of two months ago ? Nothing ! " 

Kerensky never waits to be attacked, but rushes 
straight at his adversary, whoever he is. Crowds like 
nothing so much as courage. It is the essential virtue 
of men and the leaders of men. The crowd bows and 
worships. That was his first asset. 

His second was his utter self-surrender, that uplifting 
of soul which an audience, especially of private soldiers, 
can never resist. You want to see Kerensky before a 
crowd which he has made up his mind to win over, to 
watch his preliminaries, the fire of his movements, the 
look he flashes round, the art by which he holds attention 
and wins sympathy not by flattery, but by his address 
and frank speaking and the way in which he brings his 
hearers to the mood he desires. No merely clever and 
eloquent individual can do that. Something more is 
required : patent sincerity and that self-surrender which 
inspires each word and carries it straight into the heart 
of the listener. 

209 14 


Was Kerensky's prestige as lasting as it was dazzling ? 
Would it leave permanent marks on the minds of this 
simple soldiery ? Could it ever give birth to those 
splendid events which History proudly records ? That 
was the great problem for the immediate future, the time 
swiftly approaching when, at a signal from above, the 
Russian soldier was to spring from his trenches and clear 
his way to the deadly wire, behind which lurked the 

About two o'clock we lunched with him. Lunch was 
cold and a simple meal, with tea as the only drink. 
Kerensky was in the highest of spirits during the half- 
hour luncheon interval, and the coach which bore the 
War Minister to the dread " Front " frequently echoed 
to our unrestrained mirth. Were we actually at a 
tragic moment in the history of Russia, nay, of the 
World ? Who would have thought it to see us cracking 
jokes over a glass of tea and munching indifferent buns ! 

The demonstrations began at our very first halt 
where the engine took in water Thousands of people 
collected on the platform and overflowed on to the track. 
There were delegations of all kinds, with red banners 
and gold lettering proclaiming in picturesque con- 
fusion Kerensky, the Provisional Government, the 
Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates, land and 
liberty, war to the bitter end, immediate peace, the 
democratic republic and the proletariats of all nations. 
There were peasants, women, soldiers, workmen, railway 
employees, military bands, all jostling each other and 
inviting suffocation. As the train drew in the assembly 
struck up the Marseillaise in its slow and solemn Russian 



This ceremony was repeated at each stage of the 
thousand-mile journey to Kiev. The routine had to be 
drawn up most carefully lest the overworked Minister 
should be troubled for nothing. As soon as the train 
arrived, an officer stepped out and announced that the 
Minister was working but would come out shortly. Then, 
just as the train was about to leave, word was sent to 
Kerensky. He came out on the footboard and was 
received with vociferous cheering and a general baring 
of heads. Hundreds of childlike, excited eyes fastened 
on him as if about to devour him. Then came a tense 

" Comrades," said Kerensky in a hoarse voice, " I 
greet you and am happy to see you. The country is in 
danger. The time for words has gone by. I want 
acts "... (The train began to get under weigh.) . . . 
" Iron discipline alone "... (we gathered up speed) 
..." can save us." . . . (We gained rapidly on the 
crowd which ran after us.) ..." Let all unite in defence 
of liberty and the Fatherland. . . . Hurrah ! " 

Thousands of hurrahs followed the train, which, like 
Jupiter when first he knew the love of mortal maid, 
quickly assumed a mantle of dust. . . . 

When Kerensky got back to the carriage, he fell back 
exhausted into his seat. 

So it went on all day and far into the night. But we 
did not always get off so lightly. At some stations we 
had long waits. Then came deputations of all kinds, 
workmen, soldiers, employees. Women threw flowers. 
At length the tireless Kerensky would reply, exhorting 
the workmen to devote themselves to their work, the 
soldiers to get on with the War, and insisting on the 
necessity of order, confidence and discipline for all. I 
saw a thousand ecstatic gazes fasten upon him, and 
realized that at that moment their owners would follow 

211 14* 


him to the end of the world. If the Germans suddenly 
appeared on the platform they would have a bad quarter 
of an hour. But when these bold, enthusiastic soldiers 
went back to the trenches, they would have time to 
reflect. . . . 

At last very late we went to sleep, guarded by our 
splendid marines and Preobrajensky Guards. 

Next morning, about half-past five, I was wakened by 
the blare of a military brass band giving forth the well- 
known strains : " Aux armes, citoyens ! " 

I went off to sleep again. " Qu'un sang impur abreuvt 
nos sillons . . . Ions . . . Ions . . . Ions. ..." 

When I woke again and drew back my window curtain, 
a warm flood of southern sunshine burst through and 
embraced me. We were traversing the rich plains of 
the " Black Country," alternating stretches of field and 
forest. The woods had assumed their fresh spring 
dress, and every branch was bursting with life. These 
great laden trees, lush green meadows, azure skies, the 
warm air reviving the sluggish blood I had forgotten 
them all during the last eight months of sullen, icy 
marshes and eternal snow. 

At the first stop I wanted to stretch my legs on the 
platform, but the three thousand " comrades " who 
were in wait for Kerensky gave me no room. Like 
Diogenes. I felt like sweeping aside all these proletarian 
Brother-Kings with the words, " Get out of my sun- 
light ! " This time the " comrades " had to do without 
their Kerensky. He was asleep and must not be 
awakened. Colonel Kirkin went out to explain to the 
delegates, deputation, comrades and band that the 
Minister had been working up to five o'clock, had not 
slept twenty-four hours the whole week and must not 
be deprived of his rest, but that on his return he would 
make a point of receiving the friends who had been so 



good as to put themselves out to give him such a 
reception. The motley assembly withdrew, not with- 
out a ringing cheer which must have reached Kerensky, 
even in his sleep, and wafted him the joys of popularity. 

At breakfast (I may say a splendid dining-car had been 
attached) Kerensky told me a charming story. 

On 1 May the Provisional Government received 
a telegram from a little Siberian town where a large 
number of German and Austrian officers had been in- 
terned. It appears that the local Council of Workmen 
and Soldiers had invited these officers to join in sending 
this telegram to the Provisional Government, bewailing 
the Government's bellicose programme and inviting it to 
conclude an immediate peace. How could the Govern- 
ment resist the peremptory command of these German 
and Austrian officers, anxious to return to their homes ? 

The whole day we went from station to station and 
ovation to ovation, amidst showers of flowers and speeches. 
Our car was a mass of bouquets tied up with red ribbon. 
Every now and then we had stops which did not appear 
on our time-table, and when we asked the reason learned 
that " the Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates 
wished to see Comrade Kerensky." The station-master's 
protests had been unavailing and the signal set against 
the Ministerial train. An exchange of speeches would 
follow and we started off again. 

It was Ascension Day. The women had decked them- 
selves in holiday garb, gay-coloured skirts, embroidered 
blouses and aprons, flaming shawls a delightfully fresh 
picture under the clear blue sky. 

At one little station, the women of the village were 
seated on a form under the trees, singing popular songs. 
It did not take the splendid men of our escort long to get 
out of the train and do a little courting. In short, I may 
say arms went round waists and lips met. There were a 



few feeble protests, drowned in the universal laughter, 
and then the singing was resumed. 

iJJIn the waning light of evening we crossed the Dnieper, 
her waters swollen to flood, and on her steep green banks 
we soon saw the white convents, the gilded church- 
domes and the first lights of Kiev, mother of Russian 

An enormous crowd had gathered in the temporary 
station. Kerensky was brought out amid deafening 
cheers and carried bodily on to the platform. A hundred 
thousand persons were there, filling the station and block- 
ing every entrance and exit. From this great mass rose 
an audible murmur, as the sound of angry waves. Silence 
fell upon it when Kerensky began to speak. Yet though 
only a few hundreds heard his burning words to the good 
folk of Kiev, it was from a hundred thousand throats 
that nerve-shattering cheers poured forth when he had 
finished. He was then hoisted into a chair and carried 
by his admirers back to his saloon. There the strong 
breasts of the Preobrajensky and Marines formed an 
unbreakable barrier against which the ardent demon- 
strators flung themselves in vain. 

At length we left, and it was high time. Our guard was 
about to be overwhelmed in one terrific final onslaught. 

At Kiev the train was increased by the addition of the 
carriage which had brought Albert Thomas, General 
Walsh and Colonel Langlois from Moscow. Albert 
Thomas spent the day in Kiev delivering five speeches. 
At one of them he had been publicly taken to task by a 
woman who had come a long way to give him a piece of 
her mind. She had denounced him as " bourgeois " and 
an " Imperialist." He ought to be a Unified Socialist ! 
The trouble was that Albert Thomas is a patriot, and 
patriotism is an unforgivable crime in certain Interna- 
tional quarters of new Russia. Thomas is a patriot and 



wishes to continue the War until an honourable peace is 
secured and the future assured. He wants the Allies to 
overthrow German Imperialism, so that men may once 
more breathe freely in a sane Europe. But these sheep 
here fly into a rage when the War is mentioned. It is 
intolerable to them that any injury, however slight, 
should be done to Germany, the birthplace of Socialism, 
the cradle of Marxism, or the dear German brothers for 
whom they feel an infinite tenderness, not unmingled, I 
fancy, with fear of blows to come. 

However that may be, the fact remains that Albert 
Thomas was subjected to this unmannerly interruption 
from an angry " comrade " at one meeting, and to similar 
treatment from two Extremists at another. Fortunately, 
the French Minister has a strong guard and he let fly at 
these opponents and laid them low, to the almost unani- 
mous delight of his audience. 

Notwithstanding the strain and worry of the day, 
telegrams were ciphered and deciphered in the French 
Minister's coach until five o'clock in the morning. 

Friday, 12-25 May. 

OUR train performed miracles this night in the hope of 
making up for lost time. At half-past eight in the 
morning it deposited us in the station of Kamenetz- 

The platform was a wonderful sight, for a guard of 
honour was drawn up to hold back an enormous crowd. 
General Brussiloff, the Commander-in-Chief of the South- 
western Armies, was there with his staff, and the inevit- 
able deputation from the Soldiers' Committee. Kerensky 
appeared, followed by Albert Thomas. The Marseil- 
laise burst forth, and there was frantic cheering. General 
Brussiloff was presented. He is a spare man, rather tall, 



with a white moustache and a curved nose. He has the 
refined, sensitive features of the French cavalry officer. 

We pushed our way through the press to the cars which 
were in waiting to take us to General Headquarters. It 
was a glorious day, the kind of day that you get at the 
end of the southern spring when the presence of summer 
can already be felt. Under the clear skies of Podolia, 
bathed in this dry, clear light, it was almost impossible 
to believe that we were only a two-days' journey from the 
icy mists of Petrograd. Yet Petrograd is Russia, and 
Archangel, two days further north again, is likewise 
Russia, as is also Tiflis, five days to the south. Russian 
is spoken everywhere, and these immense tracts of different 
nationality and separated by thousands of leagues, 
recognized one master only, the Tsar, who was himself 
the only bond of unity, however slight, and imposed upon 
his various countries and races a common tongue and a 
common law. . . . All this was yesterday. What would 
the morrow bring forth ? 

At Headquarters Kerensky held a conference with 
General Brussiloff. Then Albert Thomas was introduced. 
When he came out of the General's room the plans for the 
next few days were produced. Albert Thomas and his 
officers were to leave in cars for Czernovitz at six in the 
evening. The next day they were to make a tour of the 
front in the wooded Carpathians, while Kerensky visited 
the lines further north. Afterwards, we were to go to 
Jassy, either by car or train. That evening I was to be 
in Albert Thomas' party, but meanwhile we had to attend 
the last session of the General Congress of the Officers' 
and Soldiers' Deputies of the South-West front, as 
Kerensky was to deliver a great speech. 




THE object Kerensky had in view on this tour was a 
secret to no one. The Government had decided to order 
an offensive. Russia could not remain idle at such a 
moment and leave the Western Allies to bear the whole 
weight of the German Army. 

He knew that a lasting peace could only be won by 
the defeat of Germany and that the War must be waged, 
at any cost, to victory. It was essential to launch an 
offensive which, if successful, would have decisive 
results, for counting on the effects of developing anarchy 
in the Russian armies and the spread of pacifism through- 
out the country, Germany had sent her best divisions 
to France and Austria to the Carso. The Russians 
only had a skeleton force before them and were at least 
four to one. The heavy artillery had been taken to 
Champagne and the Artois. There remained endless 
wire, machine-guns and field-guns. But the Russians 
themselves were well supplied with shells, as enormous 
economies had been effected during the previous autumn, 
when fighting had practically come to a standstill. And 
no one knows except those who have had actual ex- 
perience what that " stand-still " on the Russian 
front can and does mean. I well remember the long 
and monotonous days I spent in the lines in the icy and 
dreary plains of Baranovici, or the marshes before Riga. 
Absolute stillness as far as the eye could reach. Not a 
gun was fired and not a sound broke the silence of those 
vast stretches where the men watched and waited. 
Yes, the Russians had had plenty of time in which to 
amass munitions. Their dpdts were full. At this 
precise moment they had more than .... million 



shells. They would not need so many to break the weak 
front which opposed them. 

The Army must come out of its trenches. But would 
it come out ? With the old Army of the Tsar, an order 
from above at once set in motion this enormous mass. 
The Army obeyed on the signal being given. In six 
weeks of last year, Brussiloff reaped in the fields of 
Galicia a harvest of five hundred thousand prisoners, 
and advanced steadily until the day when the Germans 
came to the rescue of their Allies and finally held up 
the Russian onslaught. Even then the Tsar's Armies 
made frantic but vain efforts to break through. On 
the Stokhod, the Guard, carelessly thrown in by ignorant 
and stupid commanders, was all but decimated. 

By now, of course, the Higher Command had been 
much improved. At least, it was to be hoped so, though 
Alexeief, Gourko, Russki and Lechitzky had gone. 
But what of the Army ? It was now the Revolutionary 
Army, the army of the famous " Soldiers' Charter," the 
product of the licence and mad folly of the first few days. 
Enormous, but a prey to its anarchical instincts and 
obsessed with the idea of an immediate peace which 
the Socialist leaders promised it could obtain, not by 
arms, but by some astonishing species of demagogic 
propaganda such as a conference of doctrinaire " Inter- 
nationalists " assembled round a table at Stockholm 
it was nothing but an amorphous army of peasants 
dreaming darkly of a communist paradise in which all 
would be equal and masterless. This army of men, 
uneducated, with no deep sense of patriotism, no unity 
of origin, no interests in common, incapable of separating 
the idea of authority from the individual wielding it, 
was now deprived of that which had once been the 
concrete symbol of country and sovereignty. By a 
novel, nay criminal, process, its ancient discipline had 



altogether vanished. The officer, once placed above 
the soldier, had been brought down to his level, deprived 
of the right of inflicting punishment (a necessary corollary 
to command), and all discipline was in the hands of the 
troops themselves, who exercised it through company 
and regimental committees elected by themselves and 
summarily dismissed if their ideas on the subject were 
too strict. Political questions were now openly debated 
and conflicting decisions taken on every topic of the 
moment. The ranks were invaded by civil agitators 
and emissaries in foreign pay. Upon them descended 
swarms of proclamations and appeals emanating from 
anarchist sources, and containing the most poisonous 
doctrine. In addition, the Army was morally and 
materially enfeebled by the unhindered daily departure 
of thousands of deserters, by the discussions about 
orders at innumerable points of the huge front, by the 
frequent mutinies and refusals to mount guard or take 
a spell in the trenches. Many officers had been dis- 
missed or imprisoned by their men. In some cases they 
had even been murdered. 

When the hour struck for offensive or even defensive 
operations, who could give this Revolutionary Army 
of Free Russia a new soul ? Who could breathe into it 
the spirit of discipline and self-sacrifice ? What ideal 
could be put before these men lofty enough to convince 
them of the necessity of devoting their own lives to its 
attainment ? 

Such was the problem which faced Kerensky, the 
new War Minister. He made no attempt to delude him- 
self as to its difficulties. He knew that for the moment 
he had nothing but persuasion to appeal to, that he 
had to convince his men, inspire them with something 
of his own fiery ardour, bring them to realize that dis- 
cipline is essential and the passion for one's native land 



worth dying for. He divined instinctively that these 
overgrown children were very sentimental, easily 
touched, quickly moved to tears, but he was not un- 
mindful of the fact that they are also changeable, and, 
like the sea, stirred by every wind that blows. 

The War Minister's task would not be completed 
when he succeeded in convincing the men. Above 
them or among them, it was impossible to say which, 
were the officers. The corps of officers at this stage of 
the War was a very different thing from the corps of 
professional officers with which it had been begun. 
Professional education had never been a strong feature, 
but was rarer than ever among the young praporstchiks 
(cadet officers) who had come from the universities, 
special academies, each and every grade of the middle 
class, to fill the vacancies created by three years of war. 
The praporstchik is not a professional officer, and has 
never carried much weight. The men who feel the need 
of authority see in him a dressed-up civilian. Many of 
these officers had been carried away by revolutionary 
fever, and lacked that sense of balance which is rarer 
in Russia than in other countries. They seized on the 
new-fangled notions and carried them to the point of 
mania. They became Extremists, Pacifists, Inter- 
nationalists. In a general way, on the outbreak of War, 
the corps of officers was in the midst of a crisis. 

These men were not prepared for the new and for- 
midable task thus suddenly sprung upon them. They 
formed a class and a caste, but they often had the most 
friendly relations with the men. I can vouch for thou- 
sands of cases. But now they were suddenly deprived 
of the material authority they had always enjoyed, 
and invited to substitute for it a moral authority they 
were to get from some mysterious source. Most of 
them failed in this task, which demanded not only a high 



order of intelligence but outstanding moral qualities, 
and, indeed, it is not to be wondered at in the case of 
men whose experience had in no way fitted them for 
the most difficult of all roles, educators of the people. 
So discouragement reigned unchecked among them now. 
Hundreds of officers came to ask us if they could join 
the service of France, and shed their blood on the Western 
front under disciplined command. They were weary 
and suffered in silence, like good fatalists, waiting for 
they knew not what, coming from they knew not where. 

The supreme commanders had a new preoccupation ; 
the dread of responsibility, not as regards their superiors 
or the country, but with respect to their men. 

" An offensive ? Are we ready ? Have we enough 
heavy artillery ? The losses will be enormous. We 
must wait ! . . ." 

For by this time all the men were debating. The 
Russian soldier has always discussed and criticized his 
officers, but in the old days took care that no one should 
hear him. But now the discussion went on in public, 
and took shape in resolutions voted by a regiment or 
a division. The men said : " An offensive is all very 
well, but you won't catch us marching out towards 
barbed wire and machine-guns without serious artillery 
preparation like they have in France." 

Knowing all this, Kerensky was going forth to deliver 
battle in the last conference of the delegates, officers and 
men of the South- Western front. 


WITH General Brussiloff, his suite and Albert Thomas, 
we reached the Congress Hall. It was a long, spacious 
room, rectangular in shape, with galleries running round 



it, and a stage on which the elected committee sat. 
The President was a private soldier, a little, dark, 
intelligent man. About him were grouped other soldiers, 
non-commissioned officers and officers. In the hall 
were six or seven hundred delegates. Nothing was 
more curious than to see the authority which the Presi- 
dent wielded over this assembly. At the least noise, 
he raised his hand, and a magical silence was at once 
established. General Brussiloff gave some orders in a 
low voice to one of his aides-de-camp. A private soldier 
of the Committee approached, and said : 

" You are requested to keep silent. Private con- 
versations are not permitted." 

And General Brussiloff was silent. 

Kerensky was greeted by a tempest of applause. 
The President bade him welcome, and then called upon 
him to address the assembly. Here is the substance 
of this discourse, rugged, vibrating, to the point, which 
Kerensky delivered with extraordinary gestures, his 
arm outstretched before him, his eyes directed upon the 
thousands of eyes which were watching him : 

" Comrades," said he, "I am not addressing you 
as Minister of War, but as a free citizen of Free Russia. 
I have not come here to congratulate you upon the 
liberties which are yours to-day. The liberty which 
you enjoy you would not have dared to dream of three 
months ago, even in your wildest dreams. I have not 
come here to rejoice with you over the downfall of 
Tsarism. I have not come here to say to you : ' You 
are free, return to your homes to enjoy there the liberty 
and the land which are given to you.' No ; it is my 
right and my duty, thanks to my revolutionary past, 
thanks to the dangerous struggles through which I have 
gone in the times of oppression, to adopt towards you a 
different language. I say to you : ' Citizens, stand to 



your arms ! Our mother, Russia, is in danger. You 
alone are able to save her. If the Army dies, Liberty 
will also die. A treacherous enemy threatens us. Will 
you allow yourself to be led astray ? Will you go to 
fraternize with him, when our English and French 
brothers are dying on the Western front, for the salvation 
of our liberty ? ' 

" As Minister of War, I say tha^ that is impossible. 
It is your duty to prove to the world that the Revolution 
is a great moral force, and, to the enemy, that it is a 
powerful material force in the service of the right. The 
old Army of the Tsar accomplished great deeds, by 
which Russia was never ennobled. Will you let it be 
said that the free Army of the Revolution is inferior 
to it, that it is nothing but a disorganized and anarchical 
mob, incapable of fighting, incapable of dying ? Com- 
rades, think of your wives, of your children, think of 
the vast Russian land. The liberty which you have 
just gained, it is for you to defend it and to secure it to 
them. How many of my Revolutionary Socialist com- 
rades have died during the implacable struggle against 
the Old Regime ! If you are resolved to fight, if you 
are ready to die a glorious death, send for me, and rifle 
in hand, I will march before you against the enemy. 

" No, I am unable to believe that Russia freed from 
accursed Tsarism can die. I believe in victory." (Here 
he turned towards General Brussiloff.) " And you, 
Commander-in-Chief, set your mind at ease. All these 
men will go with you, wherever you command them 
to go. . . . Yes, it is a great sacrifice that Liberty asks 
of you. But she has the right to demand it from you. 
A free citizen ought to know how to die for his country. 
Ah ! without doubt, it is easier to dream of a general 
peace, where all the nations will live as brothers. But 
how is this peace to be obtained ? And, when you 



listen to the dishonourable Pacifists, are you quite certain 
that at the bottom of your hearts you are not listening 
to the voice of Fear, which is an evil counsellor ? Is it 
not she who invites you to lay down your arms ? Is it 
not she who calls upon you to betray both Liberty and 
Country ? Citizens, in this tragic hour in which we 
meet, you must conquer yourselves, you must surpass 
yourselves. And I, when I leave here, I must be as- 
sured that the day on which I shall ask of you to give 
me your life, you will give it me." (All the audience 
rose and shouted : " We swear it ! ") " And that I 
shall ask of you to-morrow ! " 

Such was the theme which for more than half an hour 
Kerensky expounded before the delegates of the front. 
It is difficult to imagine the effect of this fervid speech 
on the soldiers who listened to it. It stirred them as 
the wind stirs the billows of the sea. Each phrase was 
interrupted by the replies of the soldiers. " We are 
with you," cried they, " yes, we will die ! " The 
spectacle was marvellously animated and dramatic. 
Not a discordant voice dared to make itself heard, as 
Kerensky, exhausted by his sustained effort, fell back 
three parts fainting into his chair. 

It was a novel and magnificent spectacle. We must 
go back to antiquity to find an example of a chief 
haranguing his soldiers before the battle, discussing with 
them the situation, showing them why they are going 
to fight, why they are going to die. But how different 
were the conditions ! In the little Greek democracies, 
the general addressed himself to a few thousands, some- 
times even to a few hundreds, of men. He kept them 
under his eye, and, descending from the tribune, he 
began the battle with a handful of soldiers electrified 
by his speech. But here, through these six hundred 
delegates, Kerensky was endeavouring to reach and 


" General Korniloff spoke to his soldiers as a chief, as a father." 

[To fate p. 225. 


to animate a mass of more than a million men, scattered 
along a front of a hundred leagues. And the offensive 
would not be launched on the morrow, nor in a week, 
nor in two. From that day to the fateful hour what 
would happen ? What open counter-propaganda would 
come to combat the Minister's speech ? What dis- 
cussion in the trenches and in the cantonments would 
weaken the resolution of these impressionable soldiers, 
credulous, inconstant, and for whom the last who speaks 
to them is always right ? 

But the effort of a Kerensky is a great and noble one. 
The Revolution, of which he had been one of the chief 
leaders, had deprived him of material authority, had 
ruined the old discipline, the prop of the immense 
Russian Army. He took the only weapon which lay 
ready to his hand : persuasion. He endeavoured to 
touch the heart of the soldiers of Russia. He spent 
himself recklessly. He had the qualities of a chief, 
would he be followed ? 

The emotion caused by his speech once calmed, 
Albert Thomas began to speak. Although he had to 
be translated, although after each few sentences he was 
obliged to stop to give way to the translator, his success 
was almost as brilliant as that of Kerensky. Tremendous 
applause saluted the impassioned speech of the French 
Minister ; and, on its conclusion, the soldiers seized 
hold of him and Kerensky and bore them in triumph to 
their motor-cars. 

We proceeded to another assembly-room, where the 
Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates and the 
population of Kamenetz-Podolsk awaited us. There, 
in an over-heated atmosphere, new discussions took 
place and new speeches were delivered ; and at last, 
towards two o'clock, we reached headquarters, where 
we lunched. Two hundred guests were present at it. 

225 15 


Brussiloff spoke, Kerensky spoke, Thomas spoke, the 
Black Sea spoke, and I noted the singularly dramatic 
ending of the delegate from the Sebastopol Fleet : 

" We are authorized to come to place ourselves in 
the first rank with you soldiers, on the day when they 
will leave the trenches, and we have also permission not 
to resume our place in the Black Sea Fleet." 

After lunch we went to visit, with other Frenchmen, 
the picturesque capital of Podolia and its ancient 
fortress. At this extreme south-eastern point of Old 
Poland, on the confines of the Turkish Empire, the 
struggle had been fierce between the Cross and the 
Crescent. For thirty years, Kamenetz-Podolsk had been 
a Turkish town. The Polish churches were adorned 
with statues of their saints in pathetic and agitated 
attitudes, but on the cathedral, which was of the fifteenth 
century, a sharp and severe-looking Mohammedan 
minaret pointed to the skies. The river, with its hollow 
bed, between high cliffs, closely girdled on all sides the 
little town, which we approached by a bridge. In the 
walls of the fortress with its pointed turrets, enormous 
stone cannon-balls were still enshrined. We passed a 
delightful hour in wandering in the ruins, amidst the 
rank grass, along the undamaged ramparts of the fort, 
Avhich had been a powerful one at the period when 
cannon did not discharge explosive shells. 

Towards the end of the afternoon, we set off in a 
motor-car for Czernovitz. It is a wonderful country, 
of wide horizons, of great variations of scenery, of which 
we tasted with pleasure the sweetness of the air, the 
beauty of the light, spread across these vast varied 
landscapes, and the charm of the twilight in which the 
happy land of Podolia lay slumbering. The peasants 
whom we met were dressed in long white, embroidered 
smocks, and often a waistcoat of skins. Their type 



is one of the most curious imaginable. With their long 
faces, their prominent cheek-bones, their long, thin 
noses and copper-coloured skins, they resembled the 
Sioux. They are Ruthvenians. We reached the left 
bank of the Dniester, the waters of which flow between 
steep shelving banks, and as the shades of evening were 
beginning to encompass us, we passed over a wooden 
bridge, recently built by the Russians to replace the stone 
bridge which the Austrians had blown up in their retreat 
last year. 

We were following the same road which the Russian 
Army had taken in its victorious advance of the previous 
year. It had approached Czernovitz on the north, and 
had descended from the north to the south on the capital 
of the Bukovina. Near the road, here and there, were 
lines of trenches, and sometimes a ruined village. But 
the nearer we approached Czernovitz, the less traces of 
battles did we see. The Austrians had evacuated the 
town, which had not suffered any damage. 

We arrived there between nine and ten o'clock. 
Czernovitz is brilliantly lighted by electricity. Its 
streets are clean and well-paved. The houses are 
modern and comfortable. We passed to Western 
civilization ; we were re-entering Europe. At the 
Governor's Palace, where the Russian Headquarters 
Staff was installed, we had the pleasure of finding 
General Korniloff. 

He had reached the Eighth Army two days before, 
in the evening, leaving the command of the Revolutionary 
troops of Petrograd, the discussions with the Executive 
Committee, the Anarchist demonstrations in the streets, 
and the feeble Government whose agent he was. Now 
he was at the head of an army at the front. He was a 
happy man. 

He received us with the perfect hospitality which I 
227 15* 


have found everywhere in the Russian Army. In no 
time, rooms were found for us six and a supper was 
improvised. We can affirm that nothing was wanting 
at Czernovitz. If everywhere in Austria matters 
were the same as in the capital of the Bukovina, we 
should do very well not to reckon on famine to reduce 
our enemies. We had on the table fresh white bread 
it was a long time since we had seen any eggs, 
delicious butter, country ham, wine and preserves. And 
we tasted the joy which had been rarely accorded us 
during this war of making this meal in a beautiful palace, 
on foreign territory, conquered from the enemy. 
Oblivious of the sinister formulae of the Russian Re- 
volution, of Pacifists, Internationalists, Zimmerwaldians, 
and Leninists of Petrograd, we cried to one another : 
" Long live the annexations ! " 

Early in the morning, we were on the road in a motor- 
car. We had 120 kilometres to travel to reach, by way 
of Smiatin and Kutti, the Jablonitza front, in the wooded 
Carpathians. On the way, we should see a division of 

A tyre of our motor-car burst, and, as we had no map 
and our chauffeur was ignorant of the whereabouts of 
the cantonment of the Cossack division, we missed the 
review and made straight for Smiatin. The road 
which we were following was excellent ; the country 
rich and well-cultivated ; the villages clean and the 
houses of the peasants comfortable. On the Western 
horizon rose the wooded summits of the Carpathians, 
which descend from north to south. At Kossov, we 
found ourselves at the foot of the mountains. We 
stopped for a moment at the house of the Russian Civil 
Administrator, who provided us at last with a map, and 
then continued our journey. We passed a lofty neck 
and descended again into the valley of the Black Tchere- 



mosch. We followed it as far as its junction with the 
Great Tcheremosch. In the mountains the country 
was rather deserted. We met some peasants at rare 
intervals, with almond eyes, black hair, and dressed in 
startling fashion : in white smocks and light-coloured 
skins, embroidered in the Roumanian fashion, with 
vivid colours. Towards noon, we reached the rendezvous 
near the river. A general of division awaited us there. 
But we were before our time ; Albert Thomas and 
General Korniloff, who had been detained by the 
Cossack Division, made their appearance an hour later. 
In an adjoining field, a regiment was under arms. It 
was the first time since the Revolution that I had seen 
soldiers at the front. At Petrograd, what kind of 
soldiers had we ? D6pot troops, lazy and disorderly, 
who passed their day lounging about talking politics and 
attending public meetings, but who no longer drilled, 
and who had forgotten the beautiful step of the old 
parade. Our first agreeable surprise was to find that 
the regiment was nearly at full strength. There were 
more than 3,000 soldiers there. I was quite delighted 
at this proof, for, indeed, it was agreeable to see with 
our own eyes that, at least, in appearance and numbers, 
the Army was still there. 

And these soldiers were lined up in good order, held 
themselves erect, with their heads high a fine troop 
still. They replied to the Commander-in-Chief's salute 
in the new fashion, by a " Good-day, General ! " which 
was without the beautiful rhythmical cadence, sonorous 
and crepitating, of the old : " We wish Your High Excel- 
lency the best of health ! " 

General Korniloff spoke to his soldiers as a chief, as a 
father. He explained to them it was very necessary 
why they were there, and what they had to do. He spoke 
to them of the liberty they had won, but also of the 



Fatherland, of the rights which they possessed, but also 
of the enemy who was there, near them, and whom they 
must fight the whole in simple, clear phrases which 
could easily be comprehended by the minds of these 
great children suddenly emancipated. It was a model 
of military eloquence, sober and convincing. 

Then Albert Thomas, in his turn, addressed the troops? 
an officer translating phrase by phrase his fine speech, 
which was well calculated to appeal to these simple and 
obscure minds. 

They played the Marseillaise and shouted : " Vive la 
France ! " But, before taking us away, Albert Thomas 
asked the General if he might talk with the soldiers who 
had questions to put to him. And you saw the French 
Minister hemmed in closely by a group of soldiers who 
surrounded him. There, amidst the strong odour of 
boots and of leather, ensued a very curious discussion, 
very typical of the hour and of the New Army. A great, 
bearded non-commissioned officer spoke to the Minister 
with perfect ease and questioned him. I can affirm that 
the Leninist propaganda was being skilfully carried on. 
The agitators of this baneful Internationalist in the pay 
of Germany had borne, to every point of the front, the 
same catechism of the perfect Pacifist. Everywhere 
the same simple and insidious questions were being asked. 
Must we once more enumerate them ? The War is a 
war of imperialists and of capitalists. The Russian demo- 
cracy ought to unite the proletariat of all countries. 
Not another drop of blood ought to be shed. No one 
ought to fight for annexations. And, on the Carpathian 
front, I heard once more Morocco, Algeria, the Indies, 
and Ireland evoked. 

Albert Thomas, with the conviction that he brings to 
everything, with the faith that he has in the truth, replied 
point by point, patiently and in such a way as to be under- 



stood and to leave nothing obscure behind him. The 
audience was delighted, and, at the conclusion of this 
discussion, such as had never been seen before this bliss- 
ful Russian Revolution, I took a photograph of the French 
Minister and the Bolchevik fellow arm-in-arm in the 
circle of the soldiers who surrounded them. 

We started again in our motor-car to reach the can- 
tonment of a second regiment which was awaiting us. 
We were in the midst of the wooded Carpathians. The 
road followed the narrow valley of the Bistritza. All 
along the way, women were at work with children, soldiers, 
and prisoners at repairing the road. They were dressed 
in light and striking clothes ; and their white skirts and 
red bodices gave animation to the severe landscape of 
the mountains covered with melancholy fir-trees. They 
were often pretty and quite young, with big black eyes, 
oval faces, sun-burned skins and dark hair. 

On the way, we stopped to eat some sandwiches on the 
grass, for it was nearly four o'clock, and we had been 
travelling since seven in the morning. We stretched 
ourselves out on the fresh grass by the bank of the river, 
which sang to us a charming Bukovinian song while we 
deceived our appetites as best we could. 

Then we came to a second regiment, which was drawn 
up in a beautiful glade. Here, Albert Thomas and 
General Korniloff were so successful in their harangues 
that the enthusiastic soldiers seized hold of them and 
carried them in triumph to their cars. And the General 
and the Minister, six miles higher up in the mountains, 
passed a third regiment in review. Then we gained 
at last, while twilight was falling, the General Staff of a 
division where dinner awaited us. 

Here, we were no longer amidst the luxury of Czerno- 
vitz. The General Staff of the division was installed 
near the lines, in a commodious and simple house belong- 



ing to a mountaineer in good circumstances. But we 
found again there the chtchi, the national Russian dish, 
a savoury soup made of cabbages and meat. And during 
dinner, in a room with white-washed walls and badly- 
lighted, we had a lively and agreeable conversation with 
our hosts, for whom the coming of French people into 
their mountains was a great event. 

For the moment, the moral of the officers was low. 
They were thrown into the midst of a turmoil in which 
they felt themselves powerless. The tempest had caused 
to rise to the surface unknown elements, which they 
regarded with stupefaction. They stopped before the 
whirlpool of these mysterious forces, by which, on a 
sudden, they had been confronted. How were they to 
discipline these new forces, to induce them to assume a 
regular rhythm, to make of them a creative power ? 
These soldiers' committees spoke as masters, the soldiers 
did so themselves. . . . What were they to do ? 
Whither were they to direct their steps ? Where to seek 
safety ? The officers hesitated, felt their way, and kept 

We left them too soon, we should have liked to stay 
with them another day, to go to their lines, to see the 
soldiers in the trenches, to look at the Austrian barbed- 
wire, above which floated sometimes a white flag, and 
from which treacherous appeals were thrown to the naive 
Russian soldiers. But Albert Thomas never had a 
minute to spare. He was traversing Russia, the towns, 
the Army, the rear and the front, at an amazing pace, 
which, in the memory of man, had never been approached 
in this country, where everything moves with Oriental 
slowness. The day before yesterday, he was at Kiev, 
yesterday, at Kamanetz-Podolsk, to-day on the summit 
of the wooded Carpathians. To-morrow, he intended 
to enter Roumania and to sleep at Jassy, which he would 



leave again immediately. And still hurrying on, followed 
by his stenographer, his secretaries, and his cipher-tele- 
gram clerks, he would regain Petrograd without having 
had time to breathe. 

We started again. The assembled soldiers gave us a 
last ovation. All along the road so far as we could see 
it clearly from the threshold of the cottages they saluted 
the officers who passed. Thanks be to the gods, the article 
of the Prikase to the soldiers suppressing the salute to the 
officers was not applied in the wooded Carpathians. We 
were far away from the tall, lounging soldiers of Petro- 
grad, who, with their hands in their pockets and a cigar- 
ette in their mouths, passed before officers three times 
wounded on the field of battle. Here, courtesy still 
reigned, and the respect due to the superior was not 

We travelled on during the night, and, towards one 
o'clock in the morning, we saw the lights of Czernovitz. 
General Walsh's car lost the way. He returned in three 
hours, which did not prevent him from being in time for 
breakfast at half-past seven. 

On our arrival at Czernovitz, we found a telegram from 
Kerensky, who was unable to rejoin us. He had been 
summoned to Sebastopol, where a disturbance had broken 
out in the Black Sea Fleet, which had until then behaved 
so admirably. 

Perhaps he would rejoin us at Jassy ? 

But I may relate here a dramatic episode of his rapid 
appearance on the Tarnopol front, an episode which 
was related to me on my return to Petrograd by an eye- 
witness, and which will show the almost hypnotic 
influence which Kerensky has over the Russian soldier. 

After visiting a division, he arrived at the cantonment 
of a regiment of soldiers behind the Amour. 



The regiment was under arms, but the ranks of the 
soldiers bristled with banners on which one read : 

" All men are brothers ; " " We will fight until the final 
victory . . . over the bourgeois ; " " We will not leave 
the trenches any more." 

Kerensky turned pale. He advanced by himself in 
front of the regiment, and, giving free rein to his indigna- 
tion, shouted to the soldiers : 

" Away with you ! . . . You are dishonouring the 
Russian Army ! It cannot admit cowards, such as you, 
to its ranks. Away with you ! Go back to your homes ! 
. . . But I do not answer for the way in which your 
wives will receive you, pitch-fork in hand ! " 

The soldiers did not flinch. Would a bullet come from 
their ranks and stretch before them the man who was 
matching himself against them ? 

Then there was as it were an undulation in the motion- 
less ranks of the soldiers, and suddenly they fell on their 
knees. . . . 

A non-commissioned officer approached Kerensky, 
detached the Cross of St. George from his breast and held 
it out to him. 

H Kerensky refused it, and said : 

|jjj" No, I will not accept it from your hand until your 
chief shall have assured me that you have won it in the 
coming offensive, by distinguished conduct in the face 
of the enemy ! "* 

Before nine o'clock, the full assembly of the soldier 
delegates of the garrison, the division, and the Army 
was held. There again a great discussion took place 
with the inevitable Leninists. The money of the Pacifist 

* This same regiment took part in the offensive a month later, 
and earned mention in the Army Orders of the day in the official 



propaganda Avas being expended recklessly. There was 
not a point on the front where you did not find some 
Maximalist agitators, who did not live on air. And 
everywhere were the same theories, and everywhere the 
same objections. The catechism was skilfully drawn up, 
and the catechists did not forget a single article of it. 
Albert Thomas, on each occasion, without allowing any 
signs of weariness to escape him, replied point by point. 
I must be pardoned, if I have not the evangelical patience 
of our Minister, and I shall not repeat the arguments so 
well known of the Internationalists who were operating 
at Czernovitz. 

About ten o'clock, we left the charming capital of the 
Bukovina, which, I sincerely hope, notwithstanding the 
disinterestedness of the present leaders of Russian 
politics, will never again become Austrian, and made our 
way towards Roumania. 

The road was an excellent one. On approaching the 
Roumanian frontier, it was bordered on the wooded 
heights which it traverses by a double line of iron wire, a 
formidable defence which had proved useless. Czernovitz 
had been captured by an advance from the north, and 
not a drop of blood had been shed before the barbed 
hedge of this iron wire. 

Thirty-seven miles from Czernovitz, we reached the 
frontier village of Michaileni. Half of the village was 
Austrian, the other is Roumanian. A simple wooden 
pole, stretched across the street, marked the division of 
the two kingdoms. 

A Roumanian functionary contented himself with 
taking our names, the pole was drawn back, and there 
we were in beautiful and unhappy Roumania. We 
followed the royal road which runs from Bucharest to 
Jassy. In Moldavia, it crossed a series of moderately- 
high plateaux, which each time disclosed to us a vast 



panorama. The rich Moldavian plains, the luxuriant 
meadows, the oat-fields and the corn-fields, still green, 
quivering in the breeze, the forests which crowned the 
heights, the farms, the fine houses of the great land- 
owners, the cosy villages, passed before our eyes in a 
warm, amber-coloured light, in which we felt the magic 
touch of the Orient 

Everywhere were pickets of soldiers, who formed 
up as we passed and saluted us. Everywhere were women 
in bright costumes, embroidered with lively colours. 

About half -past one, we were in the village of Botuchani, 
where we encountered French officers belonging to the 
Corps of Instruction. They conducted us to a little 
restaurant, and the lunch which was served to us made 
us understand the quasi-famine from which Roumania 
was suffering. There was little bread, meat or wine ; 
and for coffee was substituted roasted barley. Roumania 
had lost two-thirds of her territory, the most rich. The 
influx of the population into Moldavia, the diseases which 
had overwhelmed her after the retreat, the scarcity of 
manual labour for the fields, the insufficiency of the re- 
provisioning by Russia, which is herself poor to-day, 
and has only a single line of railway running to Jassy, 
had brought dearth into that beautiful country, which 
until then had lived in the abundance of the good things 
which the soil itself lavished upon her. We covered 
rapidly the seventy-four miles which separated us from 
Jassy, and about six o'clock made our entry into 
the former capital of Moldavia, and the present capital 
of Roumania. 

Despite the war, despite the trials through which 
the country was passing, nothing could be more gay 
than the appearance of its narrow streets, in which 
Russian and Roumanian soldiers, officers of the General 
Staff of the two armies, and a bustling crowd of civilians, 



peasants and citizens jostled one another. The popu- 
lation of Jassy had been trebled since the Court, the 
Government, the Chambers and all who had been able 
to leave Bucharest and Wallachia had taken refuge 
there. To find a lodging at Jassy was a problem diffi- 
cult to solve ; but, for Albert Thomas and his suite, 
the Roumanian Government had made the necessary 
arrangements. Albert Thomas, General Walsh and 
Colonel Langlois were the guests of the archbishop, who 
received them in his beautiful palace. 

He is a man still young, with an open and intelligent 
countenance. He addressed, in Roumanian, a little 
speech of welcome to the Minister, and his secretary 
translated it. Then he kissed him on both cheeks. 
Why was I not able to take a photograph of the Socialist 
Minister clasped in the arms of the chief of the Rou- 
manian Church ? I lodged at two paces from the Hotel 
Trajan, in the centre of the town, in a vast chamber 
which had been requisitioned, and prodigious luxury 
at Jassy to-day I had a bathroom and a shower-bath. 

We passed the day of Monday at Jassy. Albert 
Thomas received a hundred persons, went to visit the 
King, conferred with our Minister, M. de Saint-Aulaire, 
talked with Bratiano, received the reports of General 
Berthelot, chief of the Military Mission, dictated de- 
spatches, made speeches, embraced bishops and ministers, 
visited the aviation-ground, inspected factories, found 
an amiable word for everyone, and, running about the 
town from morning till evening, was seen, at once, in 
the east and the west, in the south and in the north, 
tired out four chauffeurs and changed his shirt three 

I met my old friends again. This was the fourth 
time during the war that I had been in Roumania. The 
last time, I was at Bucharest some days after the entry 



of Roumania into the war. It was the moment, when, 
in the most beautiful nights of the beginning of September, 
clear, warm, perfumed and luminous, a Zeppelin came 
every evening from the Bulgarian bank over Bucharest, 
and dropped some bombs upon us. A thousand shells 
sought in vain the dirigible concealed amidst the stars. 
It was a deafening noise which scarcely prevented us 
from sleeping. Happy time, in which, despite of the 
disquieting loss of Turtu Kaya, the Roumanian troops 
had passed the necks of the Carpathians, occupied 
Brascho, Friedrichstadt and the Valley of the Olt, and 
seemed bound to reach, without striking a blow, the 
Hungarian Plain. 

We lived in dreams, we nourished ourselves upon 

The Austrians were incapable of a counter-stroke. 
The Germans were occupied in France, the Bulgarians 
before Monastir. Ah ! how intoxicating were the first 
days of the war at Bucharest in those warm evenings 
of early autumn ! Roumania, which for a long time 
had had an easy and prosperous life, which had gained 
the Dobroudja without losing a man, imagined that 
she was going once more to win the victory by a beautiful 
military promenade ! The reverses had come. The 
Roumanian troops, without experience, insufficiently 
provided with munitions, indifferently commanded, 
had been very quickly brought back to the frontier. 
Then the enemy had invaded Wallachia ; the Battle 
of Bucharest, in which for a moment we had been able 
to believe in success, had been lost, the capital evacuated ; 
the civilian population, in a horrible state of disorder, 
had gained Moldavia ; the exhausted Army, a prey to 
the most frightful epidemics, had been decimated ; and 
I returned to find this charming country, where life was 
sweet and voluptuous, reduced to a third of its territory, 



and that it had passed, in six months, through the most 
cruel trials which were able to overwhelm a people. 

The Russian troops had arrived a little late to succour 
Roumania. I do not think that I shall be diverging from 
the truth if I say that the troops which had been sent 
ahead were not the best of the Russian Army. The 
allies from the East, who had been awaited with so 
much impatience, had often deceived the Roumanians. 
There had been a great deal of looting. And, be- 
sides, the Russian troops had done little fighting. It 
is certain that, during the Battle of Bucharest, when 
Fortune was wavering, they had not marched towards 
the sound of the guns. They were there, ten miles 
distant, but they had not left their cantonments, at a 
time when their intervention might perhaps have changed 
the appearance of the battle, and caused victory to pass 
into our camp. 

They had retired gradually without beginning an 
action, and had executed one of those beautiful strategic 
retreats in the arrangement of which the Russian 
generals are incomparable, and in which they display 
all the resources of their military art. The strategic 
retreat 1 perhaps the traditional system, the most sacred 
of the Russian military genius, justified by the immensity 
of the national territory, which, in itself alone, wears 
out the most terrible of conquerors. The strategic 
retreat, the doctrine of which is taught in the schools 
and academies, as the end of the game of war, where a 
Kutuzov ends by triumphing over a Napoleon. 

What was Bucharest, the capital of a kingdom of the 
lowest rank, to the general-in-chief of ten million 
soldiers, who felt that six thousand miles of territory lay 
behind him ? A mere nothing, the possession of which 
was not worth the bones of three Russian soldiers, 
a negligible atom in the great game which was 



being played. An Alexeief looks at the map and 
seeks a line, a good line of defence. The first good 
line in Roumania is formed by the Sereth. Well, we 
will defend the Sereth, if we can. If not, we will look 
for another river. Bucharest is beyond the line of the 
Sereth. So much the worse for Bucharest and for the 
Roumanians, who have chosen badly the situation of 
their capital. 

Fifty thousand men, thrown at the opportune moment 
into the Battle of Bucharest, would have saved the 
capital. Perhaps ; but the strategic line did not run 
to Bucharest, and a theorist is not stopped by senti- 
mental arguments, not even by the loss or gain of a 
battle. This famous conception of the strategic line, 
how many mistakes has it caused us to commit ! by 
how many months will it have prolonged the War ! 
Let countries perish rather than a principle ! In Rou- 
mania, they related to me the admirable mot of a very old 
Russian general, who tottered about, supported by two 
sticks. It was at Bucharest, a month prior to the 
evacuation, and they were talking, at the club, about 
the line of the Sereth. 

" The line of the Sereth," growled the old strategist, 
" the line of the Sereth ? Pshaw ! . . . The line of the 
Dniester ! . . . stronger. But the Volga ! better 
still ! . . ." 

Alexeief, of orthodoxy less pure, had chosen the line 
of the Sereth, which, by a miracle, preserved Moldavia 
intact. Thither the Russian troops had fallen back, 
confining themselves to sustaining unimportant rear- 
guard actions. The Roumanians had seen this retreat 
without fighting, and this numerous army abandon, 
without a struggle, their native soil to the enemy ; and, 
in their despair, some imagined that they divined an 
act of treachery on the part of Russia towards her little 


" Albert Thomas, with the conviction he brings 

to bear on everything, replied to the soldiers 

point by point." 

Kerensky receives a deputation. 

[To face p. 240. 


Cheers for Albert Thomas. 

{To face p. 241. 


Roumanian ally, and I know not what Machiavellian 
calculation of the Government of Petrograd, founded 
on the annihilation of Roumania and on the occupation 
of this rich country by the Imperial troops. I hardly 
believed in such depth of calculation, in a soul so base, 
among the mediocrities directing the empire. The 
military ideas held in honour at headquarters sufficed 
to explain the inaction of the Russian troops in Rou- 
mania. The Roumanians who had taken refuge in 
Moldavia, dying of hunger, their army decimated by 
exanthematic typhus and cholera, saw the Russians 
masters all powerful of their country, the soldiers looting, 
seizing the cattle, burning the cottages, violating the 
women ; and they assisted at the passage of long 
revictualling trains which carried to the Russian Army 
all the necessaries they required, at a time when their 
own had not sufficient to eat. 

But the Roumanians had a further trial to undergo. 
They had to witness the Russian Revolution and 
the frightful shocks which the Army experienced, and 
beneath which it nearly gave way. The effects of the 
first " Prikase to the soldiers " might be compared, at 
the front, to the explosion of a .420 shell bursting in the 
midst of a troop marching in close order. From a dis- 
cipline lax, but, despite everything, sound, they passed 
suddenly to no discipline at all. The Revolutionary 
soldiers killed several officers, placed others under arrest, 
and opened the doors of the prisons in which the Rou- 
manian Anarchists and criminals were confined. It 
was even feared that they intended to overthrow the 
dynasty : indeed, on Ma> 1, so intense was the appre- 
hension which prevailed at Jassy, that the King, the 
Queen and the royal children secretly left the capital, 
where they would have been without defence, if the 
Russian soldiers had attempted a coup. Since that 

241 16 


day, order had been better assured, the influence of 
the Soldiers' Council at Jassy having been exercised 
in a salutary sense. But it did not less remain the fact 
that Roumania could expect its salvation only from 
Russia, and that to-day there is reason to doubt the 
fighting value of the Revolutionary Army. If the 
International ideas dear to the Russian Revolution 
prevailed, if Russia were incapable of rescuing the Army 
from the frightful Anarchist propaganda which was 
rending it asunder, if Russia failed in her duty towards 
her Allies, what would be the fate of Roumania between 
the Bulgar, the Austrian, and the German ? 

The more we think of it, the more tragic does the 
fate of Roumania appear. War was forced upon Bel- 
gium, upon Serbia ; Roumania joined us of her own 
free will. She might have remained neutral and have 
enriched herself. She wished to fulfil her destiny, to 
unite the Roumanians of Transylvania to those of 
Wallachia, and, having chosen her hour, she went to 
war again. We had exercised on her a continuous 
pressure since the beginning of the War, and, for two 
years past, had discussed matters with Bratiano, a very 
clever man, who, from the diplomatic point of view, 
had conducted the most successful of campaigns. 
Finally, Bratiano obtained what he wanted for Rou- 
mania, and the agreements were signed. He consulted 
the augurs and the blood of the victims ; the hour 
appeared propitious. The Germans, for six months 
past, had been wearing themselves out in a frightful 
effort against Verdun. The Anglo-French offensive on 
the Somme was developing slowly, but we were assured 
that it ought to be thus and that, if more rapid progress 
was not made, it was because it was not desired. The 
Italians, after resisting in the Trentino, had struck back 
on the Carso and had just taken Gorizia. Sarrail, at 



Salonica, was occupying the attention of the Bulgar. 
Finally, and most important of all, Brussiloff had 
launched a magnificent offensive and had seized the 
Bukovina ; while his armies were in the wooded Car- 
pathians and in Galicia. Five hundred thousand Aus- 
trians had been sent prisoners to Siberia. Nothing 
more remained but to reap the harvest ; and Roumania 
declared war. 

If the diplomatic agreements had been admirably 
drafted by Bratiano, the military convention had been 
the object of less care. 

Here, for the man in the street, is the position of the 
question. Roumania has a bad frontier, she lies open 
to the enemy along about 1,000 miles ; upon the west 
and the north, is Austria ; on the south, Bulgaria. 
What forces had she at her disposal ? She declared 
that she had more than she possessed. In reality, 
she was able to put under arms 450,000 men, enrolled. 
Of their value, we knew nothing. She had need of 
Russia. However slow the Russians might be, they 
had had time to mobilize troops during the months in 
which negotiations had been carried on. These troops, 
they had them ; despite the losses of Brussiloff, the 
rear was glutted with unemployed soldiers. The depdts 
at Petrograd had from 10,000 to 16,000 men per regi- 
ment. It was not then impossible to concentrate in 
Bessarabia an army of 250,000 men. Roumania would 
take by surprise the necks of the Carpathians and 
would fortify herself there. To establish a net work of 
trenches in the seven or eight passes which lead from 
Transylvania into Roumania, to occupy them firmly, 
seemed to be a task for which 250,000 men would suffice, 
and that Roumania, with 150,000 men, and Russia, 
with 250,000, would be able to form two offensive 

243 16* 


The objective of these armies : Sofia and Constanti- 
nople. One army would have to be thrown on Plevna, 
by way of Roustchouck ; the other by Silistria and the 
Dobroudja, on Varna, Bourgas, Constantinople. If 
the coup were vigorously delivered and a surprise 
effected, if, at the same moment, a serious offensive of 
Sarrail's army retained the Bulgars on the Macedonian 
front, we had every chance of arriving under the walls of 
Constantinople before the Turks had had time to recall 
their divisions from Asia Minor and Mesopotamia. The 
taking of Constantinople would be the event of the 
European War, the ruin of the plans of the Central 
Empires, the revictualling of Russia and Roumania 
assured, a veritable unity of front established by the 
rapidity of communications and the possession of the 
sea where all the submarine bases would be in our hands. 
That, it seems, was what the entry of Roumania into 
the War in the autumn of 1916 ought to have brought 
to us. 

This plan, if it had been studied, had not been adopted. 
They had preferred to launch the Roumanian Army 
on an immense front across Transylvania, with the 
hope, a little foolish, that it would arrive in the rear of 
the Austrian army attacked in front by Brussilof. 
The task confided to the Roumanian Army could not 
be fulfilled, except by an army admirably trained, easy 
to manoeuvre, and well commanded. The Roumanian 
Army had been unequal to the task which had been 
imposed upon it. There had been, in the drafting of 
this plan, too much pride among the Roumanians who 
directed it, a confidence approaching presumption in 
the power of their army, an incorrect view of the forces 
of an enemy hardened by more than two years of war. 
A surprising thing was that Roumania had believed 
that she would succeed in avoiding war with Bulgaria, 



that it was sufficient for her to protect herself lightly 
on the Danube and in the Dobroudja, and that, for 
that purpose, 50,000 Russian soldiers would be for her 
a sufficient reinforcement to keep Bulgaria, with whom 
she was hoping to negotiate, at a respectful distance. 

At what point these calculations were false, the history 
of the Roumanian War has demonstrated. The faults 
committed, Roumania expiated them cruelly. The 
mediocrity of the military instrument which she had 
prepared, the insufficiency of officers, the lack of train- 
ing of the troops, joined to exaggerated confidence, 
and the excess of pride which had dictated a plan im- 
possible of execution, had brought about the disasters of 
the autumn, the loss of national territory, followed by 
famine and epidemics. 

How had Roumania supported these trials ? Was 
she to give up all hope and to abandon herself, without 
reaction, to her destiny ? Would she find in herself 
moral forces sufficient to enable her to recover ? 

The miracle was effected. Roumania, beaten to the 
ground, did not confess herself conquered. She rose 
again, and, with all her national energies bent towards 
the same end, silently, patiently, in the midst of unheard- 
of difficulties, she prepared for revenge. She re- 
constituted an army. France sent her some magni- 
ficent officers ; more than four hundred officers and 
non-commissioned officers, numerous soldiers of special 
arms, and a flying corps arrived in Roumania, directed 
by General Berthelot. The French mission, in perfect 
accord with the Roumanian General Staff, reconstituted 
the Roumanian Army in bringing to it all the knowledge 
that a long war against Germany had taught us. We 
should see on the morrow a Roumanian division 

But already, from a day passed at Jassy, from a 



thousand conversations with my Roumanian friends, 
with official personages, with the Queen, who did me the 
honour to receive me, with the French officers who had 
worked by the side of their Roumanian comrades, I saw, 
I felt, that Roumania had come to life again, and, in her 
heroic effort, had become what she had perhaps never 
been a nation. 

The example of work, of the faith in the destinies of 
the country, had come from above. The royal couple, 
of foreign origin, by their intimate union with the people, 
by the common sufferings shared every day, by the 
calmness that they had not ceased to show, by the confi- 
dence that they had known how to inspire in everybody, 
were already a truly national dynasty. The loyalty of 
the King, a Hohenzollern by birth, had not failed for a 
moment ; not for an instant did he lose the conviction 
of having acted for the good of his country, and in the 
sense even of the historic and national aspirations of 
Roumania. The royal couple, at the hour when every- 
thing was wanting at Jassy, when the exanthematic 
typhus and cholera were decimating the Army and the 
population of the capital, had refused the pressing invi- 
tations of the Tsar to come and take refuge in a beautiful 
and quiet palace in the South of Russia. They had not 
abandoned the Roumanian people, whose trials they had 
determined to share. The Queen, a woman of admirable 
intelligence, of courage and energy, said to me : 

" I undertook the most humble and the most obscure 
tasks, but daily ones. I went everywhere where they had 
need of me, into the hospitals and among the poor people, 
and little by little we have felt the King and myself 
the love of the people grow up around us, and to-day we 
form only one family." 

What the Queen did not tell me, were the dangers which 
she had braved, the scenes of horror which she had passed 



through, without flinching. She used to go, in the midst 
of winter, to the railway-stations, to assist in discharging 
the wounded and sick arriving by train. She used to 
enter the carriages where were lying these unhappy beings 
covered with the dreadful lice which transmit the 
exanthematic typhus. She dressed their wounds, with- 
out troubling about the contagion which was mowing 
down so many hospital attendants and doctors. One 
of her ladies of honour, Madam Simone Lahovary, told 
me that one day it was one of the coldest days of a 
winter which had been terrible in Roumania as elsewhere 
she arrived at the railway-station and opened herself a 
goods-van where the typhus patients were piled up. 
She found there all the soldiers dead from cold, frozen, 
and on their corpses swarmed thousands of white 

Yes, Roumania had endured a terrible Calvary. To- 
day, thanks to arduous work, the epidemic had been 
checked. The exanthematic typhus, which still counted 
its victims in the civilian population, had disappeared 
from the Army. But how many dead at the close of day 
did they bring to the town cemetery ! Under the 
fresh and perfumed trees, the first five tombs which I 
saw were those of five Frenchmen, Colonel Dubois, a 
captain, two doctors, and a soldier, who had just died on 
Roumanian soil, victims of the typhus. Further on, were 
Roumanian tombs, thousands of little white wooden 
crosses in serried ranks, one near the other, like the 
soldiers of a regiment. They were there without end, 
and behind them a great trench had been opened for the 
eternal repose of those who would die on the morrow. 
Ah ! the moving hour which I passed under the beautiful 
trees of the cemetery of Jassy, in the enchantment of a 
twilight which, in the midst of so much sorrow, poured 
into the heart calm and forgetfulness. 



16-29 May. 

I WAS on the road from 5 a.m. to go by motor-car to 
Herlau, where we were to assist at the manoeuvres of a 
division of the reconstituted Roumanian Army. We 
made our way along the beautiful road which we had 
followed to arrive at Jassy. Sometimes, our rapid course 
was arrested by great troops of oxen and lean cows 
which Russian soldiers, slow to make way for us, were 
driving before them. They had a little the air, these 
soldiers of the Revolution, of being in a conquered 
country, and I do not answer for each beast of the 
convoy being regularly requisitioned. 

At Herlau, the train which had brought the King and 
the Crown Prince was standing. Soon afterwards, there 
arrived from Jassy Albert Thomas, General Berthelot, 
General Walsh, Colonel Langlois, the Prime Minister 
Bratiano, his brother, the Minister of War, General 
Prezan, Chief of the General Staff, and a whole suite of 
orderly officers. 

At eight o'clock, with the King at their head, a caravan 
of motor-cars proceeded to a distance of six miles from 
Herlau, and we gained an eminence exposed to the 
sun on all sides, from which we were to follow the 
manoeuvres which had been arranged. Colonel Laffont 
explained to us the object of them. Facing us, on the 
slope of a hill, the enemy's trenches, marked out on the 
plough, traced dark zig-zags on the green grass. German 
batteries were concealed behind a crest. Two aviators 



were endeavouring to mark them and were transmitting 
their information to the Roumanian artillery in the rear. 
Of a light colour and gilded by the sun, they passed 
slowly across the clear sky. The fire of the Roumanian 
batteries drew near, and at the end of two hours their 
shells had reduced them to silence. Then the German 
trenches were subjected to a copious watering, and the 
shells burst, tearing up the rich soil. The infantry ad- 
vanced, was massed in the first-line trenches, and, at a 
given signal, dashed to the assault of the enemy's positions. 
The trumpet sounded the end of the manoeuvre, which 
had been carried out with the intention of approaching 
as near as possible to reality. 

Now the troops prepared for the march past. 

Despite the fatigue of the day, they passed magnifi- 
cent and proud before the King. The soldiers wore the 
French cap, and carried the Lebel rifle, and before each 
regiment we noticed several French officers. These 
fine troops marched by with their heads held high and a 
manly bearing, conscious of the magnificent effort which 
they had put forth during the past six months. It was 
at the resurrection of the Roumanian Army that we were 

When the day arrived, and if the Russian Army which 
surrounded them was still capable of advancing, these 
Roumanian soldiers would show that they had grown 
great in the midst of their trials and that they were now 
capable of measuring themselves with no matter what 
enemy. The spectacle at which we were assisting was 
still more affecting for me, since it was through the 
solicitude of our French officers that the Roumanian 
Army had been reconstituted. Despite the immense 
distances, despite the obstacles of the journey, France 
had sent to her Latin sister of the Orient the flower of her 
Army under the direction of General Berthelot, who had 



gained by his keen intelligence the esteem of all, and by 
his character, by his unchangeable confidence in ultimate 
success throughout the most disastrous days, the sym- 
pathy of the King, the Government and the entire 

It was half-past one ; and, since eight o'clock in the 
morning, we had been exposed to the scorching sun of 
the Orient. We were covered with a fine dust. We set 
off for the rustic lunch which awaited us, six miles 
distant, in a beautiful forest, under the thick shade of 
an arbour which rustled gently in the wind. Ah ! the 
beautiful lunch that we partook of there ! And the 
pleasant wine of Cotnari which was brought to us in 
little casks ! And the Moldavian brandy, flavoured with 
aniseed ! And the gipsy soldiers who sang to us sad airs 
full of languor, all burned by the sun, or voluptuous as an 
Oriental night ! The King proposed a toast to France 
and to her disinterested sympathy. Albert Thomas, in a 
cordial improvised speech, spoke of the stirring spectacle 
at which we had just assisted, and evoking the approach- 
ing revenge, made the tears rise to the eyes of those who 
listened to him. On the manoeuvring ground, the King 
gave the accolade to General Berthelot, and handed him 
the Order of Michael the Brave. 

In the evening, we regained Jassy. Albert Thomas, 
Colonel Langlois and I dined with the Prime Minister, 
who had the amiable idea to send for the Prince of the 
Gipsies, Ciolak, whom all Paris had applauded at the 
Roumanian Pavilion at the Exhibition of 1900. He had 
been mobilized, and, under the soldier's uniform, this old 
sorcerer with the pale face carried us at the end of his 
bow far away from the War, from the cares and sorrows 
of the present. 

Albert Thomas had the courage to tear himself away 
from these enchantments, to hasten to a meeting of the 



Russian Soviet of Jassy. Ah ! these Soviets, we must 
needs find them again even on this pleasant Roumanian 
soil ! The French Minister went to argue once more 
with the Russian comrades. I admired him, but I did 
not follow him. That evening, I would not trouble about 
politics ; I forgot war-aims, Imperialism and Interna- 
tionalism ; I belonged to Ciolak and to the marvellous 
world which his bow evokes. 

I returned on foot through the unlighted streets. 
Over the walls of the gardens, the acacias bent towards 
me their heavy bunches of perfumed flowers. How sweet 
was the summer night ! How voluptuous was the odour 
of the acacias in the darkness ! What beautiful dreams 
had the gipsy just now awakened ! 

A rumbling of the earth hard by me, a dark mass which 
glided along ... a great motor-lorry passed, then two, 
then three. . . . They were filled, each of them, with 
about fifty Russian soldiers, heaped one upon another. 
They were Albert Thomas's auditors, who, after the 
session of the Soviet, were on their way back to their 

17-30 May. 

MY last day at Jassy. I spent it in visits to my friends 
and in long conversations. The future was gloomy. 
This little country could only lean for support on Russia. 
Now Russia was in revolution, and the first act of the 
Revolution had been to destroy the old Army. What 
was the strength of Russia to-day ? How would the 
new regime have the material means to keep the engage- 
ments of Tsarism ? Heavy anxieties weighed on the 
hearts of the Roumanians. . . . 

In the afternoon, the Parliament, Senate and Chamber 



assembled in an extraordinary session in honour of Albert 
Thomas. The French Minister delivered a fine speech, 
and, in saluting the renaissance of the Roumanian Army 
and the effort of an entire people which was unwilling to 
perish, made his auditors feel the effect of Latin 

In the evening, we left Jassy to return to Petrograd. 
They worked hard in the carriage reserved for Albert 
Thomas. His secretaries were worn out. Never had I 
seen a man more determined to get through his work 
than the present Minister of Munitions. In a methodical 
way, he went through the bundles of papers which had 
accumulated, and dictated notes and telegrams, insensible 
to fatigue. 

His only distraction was to converse in the stations 
with the soldiers who ran to see the French Socialist 
Minister pass. On every occasion, he was astonished at 
the enormous number of soldiers who were wandering 
about at the rear of the front. At Schmerinka a lady 
succeeded in piercing the crowded ranks of soldiers. 
She addressed Albert Thomas, who, at his carriage- 
window, in his pyjamas, was watching the crowd. It 
was warm, he was red and perspiring, and, with an 
accustomed gesture, tossed back his long fair hair. The 
lady inquired in excellent French : 

" Is M. Albert Thomas there ? " 

" It is I, Madame," replied the Minister. 

And the lady rejoined with astonishment : 

" Why, with your long hair, and your beard, and your 
whole appearance, I should have taken you for a priest 
of the Greek Church ! " 

At each station, Albert Thomas had to deliver a little 
speech to the deputations which came to welcome him. 
He told them briefly, but with all the clearness to be 
desired, that, at that moment, their French and English 



comrades were breaking their heads and drawing to the 
Western Front all the German forces, but that it behoved 
the Russians, in their turn, to take up arms and join 
the Allies. The soldiers who listened to him how 
many gentlemen on French leave were there amongst 
them ? were delighted by this short harangue and 
applauded him. Then, when the train had left, they 
began again to spit out sunflower-seeds on to the plat- 
forms, while pursuing their vague pacifist dreams. . . . 


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the front takes part in the battle. The success of this book will 
probably exceed the big sales of the author's "The Tragedy of 
the Pyramids." 

Sands of Gold 


"Author of "The Lure of the Desert, etc." 
In this romance Miss Rhodes has returned to Egypt for a 
background. Her large and increasing number of readers will 
be glad to hear this. Miss Rhodes is one of the most gifted 
writers to weave an interesting and ingenious plot with an 
Eastern background. 


In this story the author has given us a picture of life in 
Ireland during recent years, and has enabled us to understand 
the aims and unrest of the people in that country at the present 
time The hero is serving in the army, and his story is sustained 
by a very beautiful love interest. 

New 6s. Novels. 

Blue Aloes 


Author of " Poppy," etc. 

The enormous popularity and success of the author's best 
known stories, "Poppy " (now in its I52nd thousand), " Virginia 
of the Rhodesians " (now in its I7th edition), etc., is certain to 
be revived in this new volume of stories, which are some of the 
most original and vivid of the author's work. 

The Starlit Garden: 

A Romance of the South 


Author of "The Blue Lagoon," "The Pearl Fishers," etc. 
A new novel by the leading writer of romantic fiction, who, 
like Robert Louis Stevenson, has found inspiration in the sea and 
the coral islands of the Pacific. There is no author more 
deservedly popular in the Colonies than Dr. Stacpoole, where his 
books have literally sold by the hundred thousand. 

When Michael came 
to Town 


Author of " Poppies in the Corn," (now in its 52nd thousand). 

Madame Albanesi has a public of her own, who ensure a 
large and steady sale. In the present story she is seen at her 
best, and it will undoubtedly enhance her already wide reputation. 

The Professional Prince 


Author of "The Lady Noggs," etc. 

Tells how a young Prince employs a double to take tiresome 
obs off his hands. The complications which ensue lead to the 
Prince's marriage to a charming Princess at the opening of war. 
The light, deft touch in the handling of characters and situations, 
which is well remembered in "The Lady Noggs" and its 
successors, fs one of the author's own secrets. This novel has 
had a large success in its serial form. 


New 6s. Novels. 

Young Cymbeline 


Author of "The Lamp of Destiny." 

A very remarkable love-story describing the conflict between 
a young man and his family, who are pacifists with pro-German 
tendencies. The beautiful girl with whom he is in love is 
socially above him. Cymbeline goes to the^War, and wins her. 
The story has strong Catholic sympathies. 

The Fond Fugitives 


Author of "Brown Amber," "Proud Peter," etc. 

Beginning in the undisturbed atmosphere of English country- 
house life shortly before the Great War, and with the efforts of 
an ambitious politician and his charming wife, the interest of the 
story soon devolves on the younger people and their love affairs. 
The book ends in a different key that of war. The adventures 
are related in that delightful vein of quiet humour of ^which 
Mr. Norris seems to hold the unique recipe. 

The Lyndwood Affair 


Akin to the author's " Mystery of Barnard Hanson," this is 
another of those stirring romances which, without being a 
detective tale, has all the movement of an exciting mystery. It 
is expected that this book will be one of the most successful of 
this popular author's novels. 

The Magic Gate 


Author of " Morlac of Gascony." 

This is a fine uplifting novel, containing many beautiful and 
delicate things. Written with a facile flowing pen from a full 
heart, it is a War novel, but of war as it touches a group of 
English folk, and one woman in particular. 

New 6s. Novels. 

The Bag of Saffron 


Author of "Sharrow" (48th Thousand). 

The reading public of the author of "Pam," "Sharrow," 
etc., is very wide, and is steadily increasing. Her new novel is 
certain to be one of the favourites of the season. Indeed there 
are few writers of the present day whose books are safer to order 
and stock than those of Baroness von Hutten. 

Young Madam at Clapp f s 


Author of "The Mayoress's Wooing," etc. 

A cheerful story of the adventures of a modern, high-spirite 
girl in her attempts to improve a London slum left her by will ; 
of a grim and despotic parson who loves her ; and of certain 
delightful snobs and their ambitions. 

The Greater Gain 


Author of "The Shutters of Silence." 

The "Greater Gain" is that of love, in the quest of which 
Lesbia Stretton leaves her quiet country home and goes to 
London. How she fares in her search is narrated with that 
delicious blend of humour and sentiment which is so characteristic 
of Mr. Burgin's stories. 

The Peepshow 


Author of " Love and the Whirlwind." etc. 

This is an amusing novel, smart, uncommon and brightly 
written. It is just the kind of humorous story that will hold her 
old friends and attract new readers in the Colonies. There are 
many sensational incidents and happy endings. 

New 6s. Novels. 


Author of "Bindweed." 

This novel, by the author of "Bindweed," now in its 4th 
large edition, is a picture of modern French social life in Paris 
and on the Riviera, and the love-story of a young Countess of 
Franco-Australian parentage. It deals with social and artistic 
circles in France, and incidentally with life in the Australian 
bush. It depicts the struggle between Ancient and Modern 


Author of "The Jungle." 

Readers of "The Jungle " will remember how forcibly Mr. 
Sinclair can hit out. This new book is a terrible indictment of 
the slavery endured in the American coal-mines. It is so realistic 
that it is bound to make a great sensation. There is a strong 
love interest, however, which acts as a pleasant foil to the 
otherwise grim nature of many of the scenes. 

In Our Street 


Author of "Virginia Perfect," "Boundary House," etc. 

This is a modern story of London life, beginning some twenty 
years ago and ending just before the War. It is Peggy Webling's 
eighth novel, and differs from its predecessors. But there is no 
lack of the author's quaint humour in the unfolding." 

The Prodigal of the Hills 


This is an uplifting novel of life in the North- West of Canada. 
It is full of feeling and freshness, and shows how a young man, 
away in the hills, fought and won, and how a girl of the right 
sort stuck to him. All the characters have the throb of real life 
in them. 

Also in cloth gilt, 6s., 

The Third Year in the 
Little House 


A nevr volume uniform with the authors' successful book, 
"A Little House in War-Time." 


Recent Successful 6s. Novels. 


Author of "The Elusive Pimpernel." 



Author of "The Mixed Division." 





Author of " His Official Financee " (i6th Edition), "The Girls 
at his Billet," etc. 



Author of " The Rise of Raymond," etc. 


BUNN 2nd Edition 


Author of "The Strayings of Sandy " (now in its I5th Edition). 



A Burmese Mystery. 



; A new long novel by the Author of " The Way of an Eagle " 

and " The Bars of Iron " ; of the latter over 117,000 copies 

have already been sold. 



Author of "Disentangled," " Her Measure," etc. 


Further Memories 


Author of "Memories," etc. 
With a Foreword by EDMUND GOSSE, C.B. 
In demy 8vo, cloth gilt, with Illustrations, 16s. net. 
In this fascinating volume, which Lord Redesdale completed 
just before his death, the reader will find those genial character- 
istics which contributed to the wide success of his earlier book. 
Here are memories blended with his wide knowledge of people and 
other lands, especially the East . The scope of these new memories 
ranges from the Paris Commune to Russia ; the last of which 
formed one of the most remarkable sections of his earlier volumes. 

Also by the same Author (10th large Edition}. 


In two vols, large 8vo, cloth gilt, with Illustrations, 32s. net. 

The Life and Letters of Admiral 
Sir Charles Napier* K.C.B. 

(1786-1860) By H. NOEL WILLIAMS 

Author of "Five Fair Sisters," etc. 

In demy 8vo, with a photogravure frontispiece and 25 Illustrations on 
art paper, 16s. net. 

Few British seamen of the first half of the nineteenth century 
had a longer or more eventful career than the subject of this 
volume. Entering the Navy at the age of thirteen, he served his 
Sovereign and country with great distinction for nearly sixty years 
in many parts of the world ; while in 1833 he accepted the com- 
mand of the Portuguese Constitutional Fleet, and, by his victory 
over that of the usurper Dom Miguel off Cape St. Vincent, 
largely contributed to place the little Queen, Donna Maria da 
Gloria, on her throne. A man of indomitable courage and bound- 
less energy, a strict disciplinarian yet invariably just, and of the 
most kindly and generous disposition, "Black Charley," as he 
was called in the Navy, enjoyed the esteem and confidence of all 
who served under him and was adored by the men. A mass of 
valuable material, including the whole of Sir Charles Napier's 
correspondence with the Admiralty during the Baltic Expedition 
of 1854, has been placed at the author's disposal by Mrs. Philip 
Gooch, Sir Charles Napier's grand-daughter. 


India and the Future 


With illustrations from photographs on art paper. 

In demy 8vo, cloth gilt, 16s. net. 

This book is the result of a comprehensive survey of Indian 
conditionsjin the years immediately preceding the war. It is not 
primarily a book of travel, though personal experiences are 
introduced. Setting out with an unprejudiced mind, the author 
gradually formed a very strong opinion that the relations between 
Great Britain and India must end in a self-governing India, 
capable of taking her place on terms of equality among the great 
nations of the earth. At the same time he is fully conscious that 
British rule cannot soon be dispensed with. 

Mexico: From Diaz to the 
Kaiser By Mrs. ALEC TWEEDIE 

With many illustrations. In demy 8vo, cloth gilt, 16s, net. 

Few English people are better acquainted with Mexico than 
Mrs. Alec Tweedie, who has lived in that country and written 
much about it. Among her many Mexican friends she counted 
Porfirio Diaz who was seven times President of Mexico. She 
says that " the object and claim of her present book is to try and 
disentangle the knotted Mexican skein of the last ten years and to 
show the present political, commercial, and financial position of 
Mexico with its future possibilities." 

38th Year of Issue. 

The Year's Art, 1918 

Compiled by A. C. R. CARTER 

A concise epitome of all matters relating to the Arts of 
Painting, Sculpture, Engraving, and Architecture, and to Schools 
of Design which have occurred during the year 1917, together 
with information respecting the events of 1918. 

Crown &vo, cloth, 7/6 net. 
Over 600 pages, with illustrations. 

Herself, Ireland* 

With illustrations from photographs on art paper. 

In demy 8vo, cloth gilt, \ O/6 ntt. 

The best books on Ireland have been written not so much by 
natives, who are unable to obtain the right perspective, but by 
sympathetic and observing visitors. Mrs. T. P. O'Connor's book 
is a brilliant example of this rule. Like many American women 
she sympathises with Ireland, and by her marriage has identified 
herself with that country. She has visited the most interesting 
places and met practically everyone worth meeting in Ireland, 
and her experiences are set down with that freshness and verve 
which is a strong characteristic of her work. 

" The Brood of 
False Lorraine " 

The History of the House of Guise 

" There rode the Brood of falsa Lorraine, the corset of or land." 

With 1 6 illustrations 


Author of 
" Five Fair Sisters," " Unruly Daughters," " Rival Sultanas," etc., ete. 

In one vol. demy %vo, tloth gilt, 1 6s. net. 

In this volume Mr. Noel Williams relates the early history of the 
famous House of Guise, the most interesting and eventful of any family 
not actually a royal one in Europe. The story of the Guises, brave, 
talented, open-hearted and magnificent, but insatiably ambitious, un- 
scrupulous, cruel, vindictive, and licentious, is one long tissue of con- 
spiracies, assassinations, duels, love intrigues, escapes from prison, and 
romantic adventures of all kinds, and written as it is with that lightness 
of touch and accuracy of detail which have secured the author so many 
readers, cannot fail to make a wide appeal. 

On The Road To Kut 

A Soldier's Story of the Mesopotamia!* Campaign 

In demy 8?jo, with 32 illustrations, IO/6 net. 
A breezy narrative, which not only gives a graphic account 
of the country, the life of the troops there, and the amazing 
difficulties under which they laboured, but contains the original 
orders issued by General Townshend during the siege and many 
details of the ill-fated expedition which have not yet been 
published, together with some excellent photographs taken on 
the spot. 

The German Spy 
In America 

The secret plotting of the German Spies in the United States 

and the inside story of the sinking of the L us i tan la. 

With a foreword by Theodore Roosevelt 

A remarkably frank book dealing with the inner workings of 
the German spy system in America, which throws a new and 
lurid light on German activity during the war. Full details are 
given of trje various plots which have roused the world to horror. 
The names of the spies, some of whom are well-known men. and 
the prices paid to them are revealed without reserve, and the 
entire book is vivid and convincing, and is bound to cause a 

A Special Colonial Edition (uniform with " The First Seven Divisions ") 
charged at 2/6 net (for first ordtrs). 

The Ruined Cities of 
North Africa 


With about 6O illustrations from photographs printed 
on art patter. 

Demy Svo, cloth gilt, 1 6s. net. 

Dr. Sturzsnbecker's name is well known throughout Europe 
as one of the leading authorities on the ancient civilizations of 
North Africa which he describes. The excavations have, on the 
whole, yielded greater treasures than Pompeii and Herculanium, 
for they have concerned towns of great size and importance whicb 
for centuries have lain hidden under their sandy covering. 


Forty Years In Burma 


Edited with an Introduction and a selection of the Author's Letters and 

Reports by REV. W. C. B. PURSER, M.A. 
With a Foreword by the ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. 

With a portrait and other illustrations. Demy Svo, doth gilt, I O/6 net. 

' ' A very strong and engaging personality is revealed in the story of 
the missionary schoolmaster, the Rev. Dr. Marks, who worked under the 
S.P.G. for forty years in Burmah. ... In all his work we recognise 
what may be called the Livingstone touch. . . . His own delightfully 
unassuming narration of his experiences. . . ." Globe. 

Consequences of the War 


Late French Minister of State, &c. 
In one large volume, cloth silf, 10/6 net 

Translated by F. APPLEBY HOLT, B.A., LL.B. 

"It is a book of monumental industry, as full of knowledge 
as an egg of meat, and with much illuminating thought." Glasgow 

Napoleon's Russian 
Campaign of 1812. 


Author of "The Byzantine Empire." 
Illustrated with 32 portraits and historical paintings and several maps 

and plans. 
In demy 8vo, cloth gilt, 1 6s. net. 


With the Zionists 

in Gallipoli ^ Edition 


Author of 
"The Man-Eaters of Tsavo " and "In the Grip of the Nyika " 

In crown 8vo, cloth, with Maps 6s. net 


Sir Douglas Haig's 
Great Push 


A popular, pictorial, and authoritative work on one of the Greatest 
Battles in History. Illustrated by over 700 wonderful Official 
Photographs and Cinematograph Films and other authentic pictures. 
By arrangement with the War Office. 

In one vol., demy 4/0, handsomely bound in cloth gilt 12 j 6 net, and in 
various leather bindings. 

Deeds that Thrill 
the Empire 

True stories of the most glorious acts of heroism of the Empire's 
soldiers and sailors during the Great War. With a Foreword by the 
EARL OF DERBY, K.G. With about 1,000 Original Drawings by 
leading artists ; and 26 fine Coloured Plates. Written by well- 
known authors. 

In two vols,., demy 4(0, handsomely bound in cloth gilt and gilt edges, 
25 1' per set, and in various leather bindings. 

The Splendour of France 

A pictorial and authoritative account of our grea' and glorious Ally 
and of her Country, unsurpassed in beauty and magnificence. 
Edited by WALTER HUTCHINSON, M.A., F.R.G.S., F.R.A.I., 
F.R.S.A. With an Introduction by EDMUND GOSSE, C.B., LL.D. 
Written by well-known Authorities. With about l,ooo superb 
Pictures and 16 fine Coloured Plates. 

In one volume, demy 4/0, handsomely bound in cloth gilt, 181' net, 
and in various leather bindings. 

Belgium the Glorious: 


The Story of a Brave Nation and a pictorial and authoritative record 
of a Fair Country ruthlessly plundered and destroyed. Written by 
Eminent Authorities. Edited by WALTER HUTCHINSON, M.A., 
F.R.G.S., F.R.A.I., F.R.S.A. With about 1,200 Beautiful Pictures, 
many fine Coloured Plates and Maps. 

In two handsome volumes, demy 4/0, cloth richly gilt and gilt edges, 12/6 
each net, and in various leather bindings* 



New Volumes and New Editions for 1917 

Each in cloth, with a most attractive pictorial wrapper 

Owing to the greatly increased cost of production, the restriction* in 
the supply of paper and the labour difficulties, we have been reluc- 
tantly compelled to advance the price of our I/- Novels to 1/3 net. 
The following Is a list of the Authors and Titles : 

By Berta Ruck 

,, Berta Ruck 

Berta Ruck 
FAYRE By Berta Ruck 

By Berta Ruck 

H. de Vere Stacpoole 

H. de Vere Stacpoole 

H. de Vere Stacpoole 

H. de Vere Stacpoole 

Rafael Sabatini 

Rafael Sabatini 

Mrs. Belloc Lowndes 

Allen Raine 

Allen Raine 

Allen Raine 

Mrs. Baillie Reynolds 

Mrs. Baillie Reynolds 

Robert Hugh Benson 

Robert Hugh Benson 

Robert Hugh Benson 

Robert Hugh Benson 

Robert Hugh Benson 

Robert Hugh Benson 

Robert Hugh Benson 

Robert Hugh Benson 

Robert Hugh Benson 

Robert Hugh Benson 

Robert Hugh Benson 

Baroness Orczy 
































Each bound in cloth, with most attractive wrappers in colours 



































Baroness Orczy 
Baroness Orczy 
Baroness Orczy 
Baroness Orczy 
Mrs. Aeneas Gunn 
Mabel Barnes-Grundy 
Mabel Barnes-Grundy 
Mabel Barnes-Grundy 
Mabel Barnes-Grundy 
Mabel Barnes-Grundy 
Mabel Barnes-Grundy 
Mabel Barnes-Grundy 
Mabel Barnes-Grundy 
Lucas Malet 
F. F. Montresor 
Emile Zola 
Cosmo Hamilton 
Madame Albanesi 
William Le Queux 
Curtis Yorke 
Mrs. B. M. Croker 
Mrs. B. M. Croker 
Mrs. B. M. Croker 
Dorothea Conyers 
Dorothea Conyers 
E. Burton Stevenson 
Frank Danby 
Sir Gilbert Parker 
Baroness von Hutten 
J. E. Buckrbse 
Madame Albanesi 
Peggy Webling 

Hutchinson's 1/3 NET Novels 


Each in cloth, with pictorial wrappers. 


The Cap of Youth 

The Return of Richard Carr 


The Strayings of Sandy 

A Rash Experiment 

Sandy's Love Affair 



The Lordship of Love 

The Green Patch 


Paul Kelver 


The Devil's Garden 

A Dull Girl's Destiny 

The Three Sisters 


The Great Age 

Father O'Flynn 

Corporal Jacques of the Foreign 



Each in crown 8vo, with pictorial covers, 1/3 net. 


Time and Chance 


Concert Pitch 

Let the Roof Fall In 


Missing the Tide 

Pages from the life of Margaret Carton 


General Mallock's Shadow 


Sweet Life | The Will of Allah 


Virginia of the Rhodesians 


Adam's Clay 

ALSO Each in cloth, with pictorial wrappers, //- net. 

" Our Girls," their Work for 

the War 
With 15 Jlluttrationt on Art Paper 


Lloyd George's Munition Girls 



Ye Gods ! 

CHEAP EDITION, at 2/6 net. of 


The Bars of Iron 

(The above was originally announced at 2/- net. ) 
Although an immense First Edition is being produced, it is not 
expected that full deliveries will be possible. 


University of California 


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